Go expands investigation beyond PhilHealth
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Bong Go proposed yesterday to expand the mandate of the special task force investigating alleged anomalies in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to include other agencies.

Go said he recommended to President Duterte to expand the scope of the investigation conducted by task force to include other national agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations, “that are fraught with allegations of mismanagement and corruption.”

“I told President Duterte, let’s not limit the task force on PhilHealth. Other agencies might need this task force so that we can move faster in filing charges and maybe we can request the Office of the Ombudsman, the Commission on Audit and Civil Service Commission to conduct the lifestyle checks, audits and investigate so those who should be jailed, will be jailed,” Go said in a radio interview.

Last Sept. 14, the multi-agency task force, led by the Department of Justice, submitted its initial report to the Office of the President, recommending that criminal and administrative charges be filed against some senior officials of PhilHealth.

When asked about accusations against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Go reiterated that Duterte. continues to have faith in him.

“That’s (trust in Duque) the decision of the President, so let’s respect that for the time being,” he said.

The senator, however, clarified that the investigation will still continue in order to find more evidence against other individuals involved in corruption.

He went on to disclose that they had also discussed the need to review existing laws to increase the penalties for crimes related to corruption and illegal drugs when leaders of Congress met with Duterte last Wednesday.

“We need harsher penalties to serve as more effective deterrent to crimes. While we consistently avoid harsher penalties to uphold human rights, we also need to protect the rights of every Filipino to live a life that is free from fear of corruption, criminality and illegal drugs,” Go said.

“(We need to) work together towards the same goal of providing a comfortable life for all Filipinos, specifically…the need to review and strengthen the laws and punishment against crime, particularly those related to corruption and illegal drugs,” he said.

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