NBI watching PhilHealth offices to prevent destruction of documents related to anti-corruption probe

Published August 21, 2020, 4:31 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has began watching all of the offices of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) nationwide against the possible destruction of documentary evidence concerning corrupt activities.

“Pinabantayan na namin yung mga offices ng PhilHealth para maiwasan baka may mga possible destruction ng mga evidence (I have ordered the guarding of PhilHealth office against possible destruction of evidence),” said NBI Officer-In-Charge Director Eric Distor on Friday, Aug. 21.

Distor noted that the NBI is keeping close watch the PhilHealth main office and its regional offices.

He said he issued the order last Thursday, Aug. 20, that was also addressed to the NBI’s regional offices.

“May mga rumors na may ebidensya silang sisirain. So immediately nag-order tayo (I have received rumors of plans to destroy evidence. So I gave the order),” Distor explained.

Distor said NBI agents have been deployed to the PhilHealth offices and coordinate with their respective security.

“Kung may iwi-withdraw sila kailangan alam natin at kung meron silang itatapon (Agents will have to be informed of every document being taken or thrown out),” he said.

The NBI chief said that he has already informed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra of the move.

Guevarra is the convenor of Task Force PhiHealth which he formed last Aug. 7 pursuant to the directive of President Duterte who wanted the state-run insurer investigated over corruption allegations.

The task force is composed of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the National Prosecution Service (NPS), and the NBI.

For his part, Distor also created NBI’s own Task Force-PhilHealth which is composed of investigators from NBI’s Bureau’s Anti-Graft Division (AGD), Anti-Fraud Division (AFD), Special Action Unit (SAU), Computer Crimes Division (CCD), Special Operations Group (SOG) and Digital Forensic Laboratory (DFL).