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Senate panel eyes raps vs PhilHealth execs

SENATOR Panfilo Lacson is hopeful that the Senate Committee of the Whole may present their report on their investigation of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) today.

Lacson said the committee will be recommending the filing of charges, including malversation, against PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales and other high-ranking officials over the alleged irregularities at the state health insurer.

The senator said among the charges that the Senate recommended to be filed against PhilHealth officials are malversation, violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, violation of the National Internal Revenue Code, and perjury.

He said recommended to be charged are Morales, Fund Management Sector senior vice president Renato Limsiaco Jr., senior vice president and chief information officer Jovita Aragona, and senior ICT officer Calixto Gabuya Jr., he said.

“Lumalabas na hindi pa effective ‘yung implementasyon ng IRM, namigay na sila ng pera. Umabot na ng P14.9 billion ang naipamigay,” he said.

“E doon sa mismong IRM, sa circular, ‘yung 2020-0007, nakapaloob doon na ang date of effectivity after publication sa isang pahayagan of general circulation, tapos ‘and,’ hindi naman ‘or,’ yung pagbigay ng kopya doon sa ONAR, or Office of the National Administrative Register sa UP Law Center. June 11 ‘yung nakalagay doon,” Lacson added.

“Pangalawa, hindi saklaw ng fortuitous event ‘yung nabigyan nila ng P226 million. Ito ‘yung mga dialysis centers. Pangatlo, walang board resolution kasi in-issue ‘yung IRM, March 20, pagkatapos ang dissemination date ay April 22,” Lacson also said.

“Hindi naman ang sinasabi ng Committee of the Whole na huwag nating bigyan ng tulong. Ang sinasabi lang merong ibang program para doon. Sa regular benefit claims dapat nakapaloob ‘yung para sa ibang mga dapat bigyan ng tulong,” he added.

The senator also cited the possible violation of the National Internal Revenue Code and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“Meron pang violation ng National Internal Revenue Code tapos may falsification pa. May anti-graft pa, ‘yung RA 3019, kasi hinugot nila doon sa corporate operating budget ‘yung pondo. E pera ng gobyerno ‘yun. Hindi puwedeng gamitin ‘yun na pambayad ng tax,” he said.

On the other hand, Lacson said that it’s up to the task force created by President Rodrigo Duterte to decide which charges will be filed.

“Puwedeng pumasok sa plunder kaya lang mas mahirap i-prosecute ang plunder kasi nga nagkaroon ng jurisprudence,” he said.

“Mas madaling ipasok sa Anti-Graft, pero wala namang magpe-prevent sa task force kasi hindi naman kami ang magpa-file ng demanda kundi ‘yung task force na crineate ni Presidente na pinapangunahan ng DOJ secretary,” he added.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Marlon Purificacion
Journalist At Large