NBI forms task force to aid ongoing Guevarra-led probe into PhilHealth
This photo shows the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Manila.
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NBI forms task force to aid ongoing Guevarra-led probe into PhilHealth
(Philstar.com) - August 13, 2020 - 2:51pm

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation created task force to aid the Department of Justice in conducting a probe into the corruption allegations surrounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

In a statement on Thursday, NBI Officer-in-Charge Eric Distor said he issued a memorandum creating “Task Force-PhilHealth” to look into corruption and anomalies surrounding the state insurer.

The task force will conduct an audit of PhilHealth’s finances and a lifestyle check among its officers and employees. It will coordinate the progress of its investigation with the Department of Justice, Distor said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who has supervisory authority over the bureau, currently sits as the chair of a high-level inter-agency panel that President Rodrigo Duterte formed to investigate PhilHealth. This panel has members from constitutional commissions and the Office of the Ombudsman.

The NBI said the task force will be composed of members from its Anti-Graft Division, Anti-Fraud Division, Special Action Unit, Computer Crimes Division, Special Operations Group and Digital Forensic Laboratory.

NBI-National Capital Regional Director Cesar Bacani will head the task force, under the supervision of Deputy Director for Regional Operations Services Antonio Pagatpat and Deputy Director for Investigation Service Vicente de Guzman III.

Distor said: “Considering that the NBI is still conducting investigation on alleged Philhealth anomalies, the creation of a task force on this matter will certainly help intensify and hasten the investigation.”

Duterte gave Guevarra a 30-day timeframe from when the panel is created to submit findings and recommendations, including proposed legal actions against PhilHealth officials involved in corruption, to the Office of the President.

The task force is set to hold a conference on Friday afternoon. The DOJ chief said they invited “certain resource persons to give us a briefing on alleged irregularities at PhilHealth.”  

— Kristine Joy Patag

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