Guevarra does not see the decision of Judge Janet Abergos-Samar of QC RTC Branch 219 as a major setback in the charges of estafa through falsification of public documents filed by government prosecutors against the Wellmed officials accused in the anomaly involving multibillion-peso bogus claims paid by PhilHealth to dialysis treatment centers.
Boy Santos
DOJ to refile case vs Wellmed execs
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - August 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday vowed to refile at the proper court the criminal charges against officials of Wellmed Dialysis and Laboratory Center Corp. over bogus claims paid by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) after the case was dismissed by the Quezon City regional trial court. 

Guevarra does not see the decision of Judge Janet Abergos-Samar of QC RTC Branch 219 as a major setback in the charges of estafa through falsification of public documents filed by government prosecutors against the Wellmed officials accused in the anomaly involving multibillion-peso bogus claims paid by PhilHealth to dialysis treatment centers.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said WellMed filed bogus claims for the treatment of patients that have already died.

The QC RTC dismissed the criminal cases against the WellMed officials, saying the case should have been tried by a metropolitan trial court.

The court further clarified that the dropping of the case had nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the defendants. 

“The accused may still be prosecuted and the cases may still be filed before the said courts notwithstanding the dismissal decreed herein,” the order said.

She granted the motion of defense lawyers to quash the charges for 17 counts of estafa and falsification of public documents against WellMed owner Bryan Christopher Sy and whistle-blowers Edwin Roberto and Liezel Aileen de Leon and other unidentified individuals.

De Leon and Roberto have been placed under the DOJ’s witness protection program (WPP) after they tagged Sy in the PhilHealth mess.

The defendants allegedly defrauded PhilHealth of claims ranging from P5,200 to P39,000.

The charges have penalty under the Revised Penal Code of two months and one day to six months for estafa and a maximum penalty of over two years to six years imprisonment for falsification of public documents that falls under the jurisdiction of first level courts.

“They would just simply refile with the proper court. No harm done,” Guevarra said.

He explained that even before Samar came out with her ruling, they were already thinking of withdrawing the case from the court because the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was unable to produce additional evidence.

“We were actually withdrawing the information filed with the RTC, but were overtaken by the court’s order,” said Guevarra. 

MENARDO GUEVARRA PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORP. WELLMED DIALYSIS AND LABORATORY CENTER CORP.
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