Morales resigns as PhilHealth CEO after Duterte gives hint to quit

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Morales resigns as PhilHealth CEO after Duterte gives hint to quit
PhilHealth CEO Ricardo Morales
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Embattled Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president Ricardo Morales on Wednesday resigned as legislators and government agencies probe alleged fraudulent schemes that reportedly cost the state-run insurer billions in funds.

"This is to confirm that the Office of the President has received today, Aug. 26, the resignation letter of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) president and chief executive officer Ricardo C. Morales," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

"We are still awaiting President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's further action [or] instruction on the matter," he added.

Morales' resignation came two days after the president said it would be best for the PhilHealth chief to quit while the health insurer is facing "critical times."

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, the head of the multi-agency task force probing the alleged corruption in PhilHealth, said Duterte also noted the "on-and-off health situation" of Morales, who is now on medical leave to undergo chemotherapy for lymphoma.

Morales previously rejected calls for him to quit, saying he would act like a "good soldier" as long as he is needed in PhilHealth.

Last Monday, Duterte promised to spend his remaining months in office building cases against people involved in the alleged fraudulent schemes in PhilHealth.

"PhilHealth (issue) should be investigated and everyone (involved) should be prosecuted and jailed. If that's the only work I can do in the remaining two years, I would do that," the president said. 

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