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Gierran will ‘disinfect’ PhilHealth — Conti

FORMER Presidential Anti-Graft Commissioner Atty. Nicasio Conti lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to appoint Dante Gierran as the new chief of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., saying there is no other more competent and better at “disinfecting” the agency plagued with accusations of corruption.

Atty. Conti, who spearheaded the lifestyle check among government employees and who also served as OIC Administrator at the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), said the former NBI director can cleanse the tainted image of PhilHealth, which has been the subject of investigations over allegations of massive and systematic corruption.

“President Rodrigo Duterte has chosen the right man for the job. With the proven track record of now PhilHealth President Dante Gierran, he can surely ‘disinfect’ the agency especially in this critical period of the pandemic brought about by COVID-19 and purge PhilHealth of its corrupt officials and syndicates” Conti said.

He was once commended for the arrest of Datu Blah Sinsuat Mama Jr. who misrepresented himself as close to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Gierran was also commended for the recovery of 158 young women, who were victims of large-scale illegal recruitment, and for solving the theft of P100 million worth of Treasury Bills in 1990, among others.

President Duterte had given marching orders to Gierran, to clean up the graft-ridden health insurer and send its corrupt officials to jail.

The chief executive also ordered Gierran to remove all regional vice presidents “whether performing at par or in parity with the other good ones” over the next “two or three days.”

Gierran, 65, replaces Ricardo Morales, a retired Army general, who was told by the President last week to step down for health reasons.

Gierran headed the NBI’s regional office in Davao before serving four years as NBI chief until his retirement last February.

Sen. Richard Gordon earlier recommended to file criminal charges against the “Mindanao Group” of regional vice presidents who have been holding their positions for over 20 years and had allegedly pocketed 20 percent in kickbacks from multibillion-peso rackets.

Morales was tagged in the alleged mafia accused of pocketing billions of pesos from the agency.