Roof leaks at PhilHealth office in Dagupan, soaking documents; mafia tagged

Published August 22, 2020, 5:57 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday that the leaking roof at the Information Technology (IT) and accounting offices of the beleaguered Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) in Dagupan City that eventually soaked documents is the handiwork of the mafia.


“Indication ng gawain ng mafia ‘yan…ganyan ang mafia, mahusay magtakip (This is an indication that it is the handiwork of in-house PhilHealth mafia. That is the mafia, they are good at covering up),” Lacson said during a DWIZ radio interview.

Lacson said he and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, chairman of the Senate Committee of the Whole, have already transmitted to Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra the documents the committee had received during its three in-person and virtual public hearings on the alleged massive corruption at PhilHealth.

President Duterte created a task force headed by Guevarra to dig deep into the irregularities at the State health insurance agency and prosecute the guilty. The task force is being aided by other government agencies.

Lacson, committee vice chairman, said the documents and pieces of evidence transmitted to Guevarra are strong to warrant the filing of charges against top PhilHealth officials headed by retired Brig. Gen.  Ricardo Morales, PhilHealth president and chief executive officer (PCEO).

Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, was intrigued that the PhilHealth regional office transferred from a property leased from the Duque family to a relatively new building last December.

The roof leaked while agents of the Presidential Anti-Corruption  Commission (PACC) were examining PhilHealth records.

‘’So mismong ang PACC na naroon na nagsasagawa ng pag-exam ng records, nagulat din sila. Bakit biglang nag-leak. Kung nakita ninyo ang video, bago ang ceiling. Tapos biglang nagtuluan (While the PACC probers were examining the record, they were surprised. Water leaked from the roof. The video shows the ceiling is new),’’ he said.

Lacson learned there was no attempt to destroy documents in other PhilHealth offices. The Senate had received records on alleged overpricing of IT purchases and manipulation of financial records.

Lacson also said that three or four nights ago, PACC probers noticed a van suspiciously moving around. “So hingi sila tulong sa NBI (National Bureau of Investigation). The investigators were whisked away from the area kasi nakaramdam ng threat (So they (PACC) asked help from the NBI. The investigators were whisked away from the area because they felt there was a threat),”  Lacson said.

Lacson said PhilHealh documents and the pieces of evidence so far gathered are strong.

“Pero I suppose and I can only assume, na marami pang incriminating documents na nasa PhilHealth pa. Ang sinasabi ko lang, nai-secure natin at least ang mga records din at dokumentong naisumite sa Senado, at ito ang ibinahagi namin kay Secretary Guevarra (I suppose and I can only assume, there are still many incriminating evidence at PhilHealth. What I can say is that we have secured the records and documents that were later submitted to Secretary Guevarra),” he added.