JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday remained confident that Task Force PhilHealth could build strong cases against those implicated in the alleged massive corruption inside the beleaguered state-run agency.
This despite some of the resource persons invited by the task force to shed light on what they know about the controversy were allegedly uncooperative during the investigation.
” The investigation being conducted by Task Force PhilHealth is running well, although we are aware that our resource persons are not telling us everything that we ought to know. At the end of this investigation, we hope to be able to build up enough cases against persons responsible for the PhilHealth mess, whether or not they continue to be in PhilHealth’s employ, ” Guevarra said.
President Duterte recently ordered the Department of Justice to form a task force to investigate allegations of massive corruption inside PhilHealth.
Guevarra said the different agencies composing the task force have agreed to fast-track the investigation and special audit on PhilHealth.
“Task Force PhilHealth as a composite group will initiate fresh investigations on alleged anomalies that are not the subject of any ongoing investigation or audit,” Guevarra said.
The task force is composed of the DOJ, Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the National Prosecution Service (NPS).
Last Aug. 4, senators grilled PhilHealth senior officials over the reported corruption in the agency, particularly the allegedly overpriced Information Technology system project proposed by the management; the promotion of officials who were involved in previous controversies; the questioned reimbursements to select hospitals and health facilities; and the supposed mismanagement of the agency’s funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thorsson Montes Keith, PhilHealth anti-legal fraud officer, recently blew the whistle on his colleagues by citing the “widespread corruption in PhilHealth. ” He just quit his post.
The Senate Committee of the Whole has been conducting a formal inquiry into the PhilHealth fund mess.