PhilHealth CEO still enjoys Duterteâs trust
PhilHealth CEO Ricardo Morales
PhilHealth CEO still enjoys Duterte’s trust
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - July 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales still enjoys the trust and confidence of President Duterte despite fresh allegations of corruption in the state-run agency that handles over P221 billion in funds to implement the Universal Health Care law, Sen. Bong Go said yesterday.

Go, who is close to Duterte, issued the statement as the Senate is expected to start next week its probe on the allegations of corruption at PhilHealth and on Morales.

“As of now, (Duterte) mentioned to me that he still has great trust with (retired) Gen. Morales, in his integrity. It’s just, maybe, the people under him should be investigated,” the senator told reporters in Filipino at an online press conference.

“But of course, if the corruption allegations are proven, heads will definitely roll,” he said.

It would be better to wait for the results of the investigation being conducted by the Office of the Special Assistant to the President headed by Undersecretary Jesus Melchor Quitain, according to Go.

The senator also disclosed that Susan Mercado, a member of the PhilHealth board, recently tendered her resignation. It was not clear, though, whether or not her resignation was related to the controversy.

For Senate President Vicente Sotto III, it will be too early to exonerate or pin the blame on Morales as the chamber has yet to start its probe to be conducted by the committee of the whole, where all senators are members.

Sotto, however, said Morales still has a lot of explaining to do, based on the documents received by the chamber from sources.

Sotto also disclosed that the Senate would present two or three whistle-blowers, who may need witness protection from the chamber.

He expressed hope that the inquiry will be able to gather enough evidence that may be used in filing charges against unscrupulous individuals. – Cecille Suerte Felipe, Sheila Crisostomo

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