DOJ approves filing charges vs Wellmed owner, whistleblowers

Published June 14, 2019, 10:08 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Jeffrey Damicog

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the filing of charges against the owner of WellMed Dialysis Center and two of his former employees over their alleged involvement in the “ghost dialysis” scam.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered the NBI to arrest the owners of WellMed Dialysis Center involved in the alleged “ghost dialysis” scam. The Well Med Dialysis Center in Novaliches, Quezon City. (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN)
The Well Med Dialysis Center in Novaliches, Quezon City. (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The investigating prosecutors found probable cause to indict Brian Christopher Sy and two other officers of Wellmed Dialysis and Wellness Center Corporation for the complex crime of estafa thru falsification of official documents,” said DOJ spokesman Undersecretary Mark Perete Friday (June 14).

The two other persons to be indicted with Sy are the whistleblowers, namely, former WellMed employees Edwin Roberto and Liezel Aileen De Leon.

They will be charged with 17 counts of estafa in violation of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) with the bail recommended at P72,000 for each count for each person.

“The investigating prosecutor found that the Wellmed officers conspired in using falsified documents to collect payments from PhilHealth for alleged medical services to patients who were already dead,” Perete.

On the other hand, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) earlier explained the need to include the whistleblowers in the case and eventually asks the court to discharge them as state witnesses.

The DOJ released the resolution after the three were subjected to inquest proceedings last Tuesday before Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Noreen Devanadera following their arrest on Monday by the NBI.

The NBI had summoned the three last Monday to shed light over the “ghost dialysis” allegations.

Apart from the three, the NBI and PhilHealth named as respondents in the complaint it filed before the DOJ officers of WellMed, namely, Sy’s father Claro Sy; Sy’s wife Therese Francesca Tan-Sy; Dr. John Ray Gonzales; Alvin Sy; Dick Ong; Dr. Porsha Natividad; and Dr. Joemie Soriano.

In the complaint, WellMed allegedly was able to get from Philhealth P808,600 for 27 “ghost dialysis” claims representing 280 dialysis sessions.

“The inquest prosecutor meanwhile referred the case against seven other Wellmed officers/employees for preliminary investigation,” Perete said.