Sen Go. urges task force to intensify PhilHealth probe, file cases, suspend erring officials

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, today urged the inter-agency task force created by President Duterte to intensify its investigation into the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) by recommending preventive suspensions and actively filing more cases against former and current officials found involved in corruption or negligence of duties.        

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go

Go reiterated the recommendation of the Senate Committee of the Whole through Senate Resolution (SR) 63, dated 19 August 2020, urging the President to preventively suspend the “top management” of PhilHealth

The Senate resolution, adopted with all senators as co-authors, urged the President to impose preventive suspension over the “top management” of PhilHealth involved in the irregularities in the agency, those responsible for delay or refusal to submit documents pertinent to all investigations being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Commission on Audit (COA).        

Go expressed deep concern about the allegations of widespread corruption within the state insurance agency that serves a vital role as a pillar of the healthcare system. 

“Sabi ko nga noon, kung hindi lang magagalit ang human rights advocates, dapat pilayan o putulin ang daliri o kamay ng mga corrupt para matigil talaga ang kalokohan,’ Go said. (As I have said before, if the human rights advocates will not get angry, the fingers or hands of the corrupt should be mutilated in order to stop them with their wrongdoings.

“Karapatan ng mga Pilipino ang mabuhay ng tahimik at ‘yung pera nila ay walang masasayang o mananakaw dahil sa corruption. Ang pinaglalaban ko dito ay ang karapatan ng bawat Pilipino na dapat mabigyan ng assurance na ang pera nila ay nagagamit ng tama, nararamdaman nila sa pamamagitan ng maayos na serbisyo, at hindi nananakaw ng mga kurakot dyad,’’ he added. (It is the right of Filipinos to live a quiet life and their money should not be wasted due to corruption. I am fighting for the rights of every Filipino that they should be given the assurance that their hard earned money will be used properly, they will feel it by means of proper service, and not be stolen by thieves.)

Under its mandate, PhilHealth is tasked to administer the National Health Insurance Program which provides Filipinos with health insurance coverage as well as ensures affordable, acceptable, available, and accessible health care services.

Go also earlier called for the preventive suspension of PhilHealth officials accused of corruption in order to protect the integrity of the investigation led by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and also to preserve the integrity of the agency. 

“Exasperated na po si Pangulong Duterte dahil sa korapsyon sa gobyerno. Para rin po itong pandemya na sumisira sa ating normal na pamumuhay. It is important to remove the ‘bad eggs’ para hindi na makasira pa sa serbisyo ng gobyerno o makahawa pa sa mga ibang kawani ng gobyerno na nais lang magsilbi sa kapwa Pilipino,’’ he added. (President Duterte is already exasperated due to corruption in government. This is like a pandemic that destroys our normal living. It is important to remove the ‘bad eggs’to prevent others who want to faithfully serve their fellow Filipinos,  from contracting the disease of corruption.

Earlier this month, the NBI filed criminal complaints against top PhilHealth officials for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code on malversation of public funds or property, among others.