THE two House panels that looked into the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) corruption issues have found the agency’s officials liable for several charges.
At the resumption of the hearing yesterday, the committees on public accounts and good government and public accountability adopted a committee report that recommends the filing of charges against several PhilHealth officials.
While President Rodrigo Duterte for several occasions exonerated Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the two committees did not exclude him from the charges.
Aside from Duque, also facing charges are resigned PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales, EVP and COO Arnel de Jesus. SVP Israel Pargas, SVP Renato Limsiaco; SVP Rodolfo del Rosario Jr. and Senior Manager Rogelio Pocallan.
During the previous hearings the two committees chaired by Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor and Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado found anomalies in the PhilHealth such as the implementation of the interim reimbursement mechanisms (IRM, irregularities in the PhilHealth IT system and questionable acase rate system.
On the issue of IRM, the House panels recommended that the Ombudsman file criminal charges for violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act against Duque and other officials.
Duque earlier told a House panel hearing that he had nothing to do with the IRM.
Among the recommended cases are violation of Section 3 of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and illegal use of public funds under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code for the criminal aspect and grave misconduct and grave neglect of duty for the administrative aspect.
“We’re not saying that they are automatically guilty. We just found enough basis to file criminal and administrative charges against them and this will allow them to defend themselves before the appropriate agencies,” Defensor explained.
“As far as the joint committee is concerned, we did not hide anything and we did not protect anybody. Everybody witnessed the evidence we gathered during the hearing,” he added.