More witnesses at Senate hearing on corruption at PhilHealth

Published August 10, 2020, 6:06 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

More personalities are expected to show up at the resumption of the Senate Committee of the Whole’s inquiry on the alleged corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) Tuesday.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III bared Monday that one of the new witnesses was a former PhilHealth official who will provide “substantial” information and evidence supporting the reported irregularities in the State health insurer.

“Definitely, there is one witness that is coming out tomorrow (Tuesday),” Sotto said in an online interview with reporters.

“According to Sen. (Panfilo) Lacson, mabigat mga bibitawan nito, at mabigat ang mga ebidensya nito (the witness will expose some substantial information and pieces of evidence),” he added.

Meanwhile, the former head executive assistant of PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales has reportedly decided to attend the Senate hearing.

Etrobal Laborte was supposed to speak during the chamber’s Aug. 4 hearing but suddenly backed out due to security concerns. Lacson earlier said that Laborte was one of his informants on the alleged corruption in the PhilHealth. 

Aside from the new witnesses, Sotto said more resource persons will be attending the Senate inquiry.

The resource persons include officials from the Commission on Audit, Department of Information and Communication Technology and the President Anti-Corruption Commission, he said.

The Senate chief, who also chairs the Committee of the Whole, said they expect to uncover more anomalies after Senate Majority discovered more “money-making schemes” in the State-run corporation.

Sotto said another PhilHealth official, whom he did not identify, also “sent an affidavit disclosing other thing that we are not aware about.”

 
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