Reconsider keeping Morales â Lacson
At the hearing, senators were told by resigned PhilHealth lawyer Thorrsson Montes Keith about some P15 billion lost and pocketed by some officials through anomalous transactions. He said the officials operate like a mafia in PhilHealth.
STRA/ File
Reconsider keeping Morales – Lacson
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - August 7, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Panfilo Lacson is hoping Malacañang will reconsider its decision to keep Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president Ricardo Morales and other officials despite their being linked to corruption.

Lacson yesterday said the transcript of discussions during the public hearing of the Senate committee of the whole as well as its final report on the alleged corruption in the government-run corporation would be available for the executive department to read and analyze.

“I just hope the President can take a look at the transcript of last Tuesday’s hearing and eventually, when the investigation of the Senate committee of the whole is completed, I hope that Malacañang will take a look at our findings and decide for themselves if there is still wisdom in keeping Morales and other officials in their posts,” he said.

“It’s systemic. This has been going on for the longest time. Even during the incumbency of past presidents and CEOs. If the President is looking for just a whiff of corruption, this is more than that,” he added.

At the hearing, senators were told by resigned PhilHealth lawyer Thorrsson Montes Keith about some P15 billion lost and pocketed by some officials through anomalous transactions. He said the officials operate like a mafia in PhilHealth.

Lacson also taunted corrupt PhilHealth officials to observe a moratorium on corruption during the health crisis.

“I thus pose this challenge to the corrupt elements in PhilHealth: declare a moratorium on corruption, at least during the pandemic. Who knows, they might actually learn that it feels good not to be corrupt, and thus develop an aversion to corruption,” said Lacson.

“Having said that, I also encourage those in PhilHealth who fight corruption in their own little way – the officials and rank-and-file who continue to provide information and documents – not to tire of blowing the whistle on corruption, even if we may not immediately see the results of their acts,” Lacson added.

Lacson said a corruption-free PhilHealth will make it easier for lawmakers to deliberate on the budget of the state insurer.

“In the immediate term, it will ease the concerns of lawmakers, myself included, that the budget we pass for PhilHealth to do its job will not be lost to greed,” he said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III encouraged resigned PhilHealth SVP for operations retired Brig. Gen. Augustus de Villa to reveal everything he knows about corruption in the agency.

“He (de Villa) must have a very good reason for resigning in the midst of the controversy,” Sotto added.

PANFILO LACSON
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