VP wants PhilHealth officials suspended for duration of probe

Published August 9, 2020, 12:02 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday recommended the preventive suspension of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) officials while investigation of corruption against them is ongoing.  

Vice President Leni Robredo

Speaking on her weekly radio show, the opposition leader said the suspension would ensure the “integrity of the investigation is not compromised.” 

“Habang ganito kagrabe ang accusations, ganito katinde, baka kailangan may suspension habang ang investigation ongoing (While the accusations are as serious like these, a suspension could be needed while investigation is ongoing),” she said.

“Sana ganun gawin to show na seryoso tayong sugpuin ang corruption (I hope that it will be done to show that we are serious to curb corruption),” Robredo stressed.

The vice president expressed dismay over the alleged irregularities and corruption inside PhilHealth following the P15 billion fraud scandal.

Robredo said she was dismayed the corruption issues in the state insurer were revealed at a time when the country is facing the coronavirus pandemic.

“Kinakailangan pa magkaroon ng whistle blower, eh mayroon tayong mga anti-corruption bodies na dapat ito ‘yun naamoy nila. Hindi na dapat nahihintay na lumalala pa ‘yung sitwasyon (We still needed to have a whistblower, but we already have anti-corruption bodies that should have found it. They should not have waited for the situation to get worse),” she said.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are now looking into the alleged irregularities inside the state-run health insurance firm.

The Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) and a multi-agency task force created by President Duterte have also opened separate probes. 

PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales and executive vice president Arnel De Jesus, however, may have to physically skip the Senate hearing on August 11 due to health problems.