Duterte to name Morales successor Monday

Published August 29, 2020, 12:47 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Sen. Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, revealed today that President Duterte might name the replacement of retired Brig. Gen. Ricardo Morales as president and chief executive officer of the alleged graft-ridden Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) Monday.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (OFFICE OF SEN. BONG GO / MANILA BULLETIN)

After talking to Duterte early this morning, Go said that the President has some names in mind to replace Morales.

“Nagkausap kami ni Pangulong Duterte kaninang madaling araw. Mayroon nang nasa radar niya, pinag-iisipan na niyang mabuti. He will decide by Monday kung kanya na pong pipiliin itong taong ito na papalit kay Gen. Morales. Kailangan na rin talagang magkaroon ng kapalit para tuloy-tuloy ang serbisyo ng PhilHealth. Hindi po ma-hamper o maantala ang serbisyo para sa tao (I talked to the President early this morning. He has someone in mind and he is thinking it over. He will decide on Monday whom he would choose. There is a pressing need for a replacement of Morales so that PhilHealth’s services to the people are not stopped or hindered),” Go added.

Go, former special assistant of Duterte, stressed that the Duterte administration continues its efforts to cleanse government of systemic corruption, particularly at PhilHealth.

He recommended that any official named to be involved in anomalies must be preventively suspended to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

“Individuals found to be responsible for wasting or stealing people’s money must be held accountable,’’ Go said.

“Walang katapusan ang hearing namin sa Senado, may mga reported corruption sa baba. Tingin ko, nasa baba talaga at di nakikita ng mga nasa taas ang ginagawang palusot sa baba so dapat masuspinde sila, maiimbestigahan, makasuhan, lifestyle check, put them in jail, ‘yun po ang importante dun, at suspindihin talaga para di na sila makagalaw. Pilayan talaga (While the Senate conducts regular hearings, corruption takes place at the lower echelons of PhilHealth. Those at the top echelon do not know how those in the lower level pull a fast one. So, they have to be suspended, investigated, and charged. There should be lifestyle checks, put them in jail. Disable them),” Go said.

Meanwhile, the senator from Davao said proposals to declare martial law in Sulu following the twin bombings that killed 15 persons last week should only be considered as a last resort.

While he is open to the suggestion, Go said that there are already counter-terrorism measures in place that would provide State forces the capabilities they need to carry out their operations against the terrorists.