Guevarra: gov’t anti-corruption efforts on track

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra assured the public on Wednesday, Jan. 13, that the government’s anti-corruption efforts remain on track.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

Guevarra made the assurance following the latest complaints filed before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) concerning irregularities at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“We want to convey the message to the people that the anti-corruption campaign of the government is a continuing effort,” the secretary said.

“While our system of justice grinds rather slowly, we can assure that it works and that justice will eventually be served,” he added.

With this, Guevarra said more complaints will be filed before the OMB concerning PhilHealth anomalies.

“But we’re now shifting our focus to other agencies where corruption is likewise prevalent,” he stated.

This week the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Task Force Against Corruption (TFAC) has endorsed to the OMB the corruption report of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) which sought the indictment of 25 former and current PhilHealth officials over fraudulent membership enrollment and health claims in Region I.

Also, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed before the OMB last Monday, Jan. 11, a criminal complaint against 17 persons including former PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales over the questionable release of P33.8 million from the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) to health care institution Braun Avitum.

The TFAC was formed after President Duterte issued an Oct. 27 memorandum which directed Guevarra to have the DOJ lead a task force to investigate corruption in government until the chief executive’s term ends in June, 2022.