IF needed, the chairman of the House committee on public accounts on Friday said some lawmakers may file appropriate charges against officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) based on what the panel unearthed during the House of Representatives’ investigation into the alleged anomalies hounding the agency.
Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, panel chairman, said some of his colleagues in their personal capacity can lodge complaints against PhilHealth officials.
“As to what cases will be filed, i-enumerate namin and I would think, Executive na bahala doon unless the committee will decide that we will file individually or collectively as members of the committee in Congress,” Defensor told a Zoom interview with House media.
Defensor’s panel conducted a joint probe with the House committee on good government and public accountability led by Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado on alleged PhilHealth anomalies.
“Ito po ay gagawin namin individually dahil nga ho, as a body, as a Congress, as a committee, hindi naman po puwede naming gawin,” Defensor told a separate interview over “Dobol B sa News TV.”
“Ito na po ang pagkakataon na i-approve namin itong report na ito at mag-file kami ng kaso sa karapat-dapat na file-an ng kaso. Ito pong pag-aaral namin kung binasa po ninyo wala kaming itinago, wala kaming kinilingan, at talagang inilabas namin ‘yung mga problema sa loob ng PhilHealth,” he added.
A leaked 65-page draft committee report on Facebook of the joint panel bared the recommendation to file administrative and criminal charges against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, PhilHealth board, and its senior officials.
Like the Senate and the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) inquiries, the House joint panel probed various controversies, especially the alleged violations of the interim reimbursement mechanism (IRM).
Defensor clarified that their committee report is not yet official, stressing members of the two panels will still debate, amend and approve it.
He even urged House Minority Leader and Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen “Caraps” Paduano to join them in signing the committee report and file the appropriate charges against the PhilHealth officials.
“Kung gusto talaga niyang sumama sa public accounts committee, I am inviting him to sign the committee report and to file the case if necessary,” said Defensor.
“Magtulong kami, magsama-sama kami. hindi na ito question ng majority, minority. He is the minority leader now, and I think it is best that we file collectively as Congress para talagang makita naman ng tao,” Defensor said.