Solons free to file raps vs. PhilHealth execs

Solons free to file raps vs. PhilHealth execs

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (File photo)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said he sees nothing wrong with lawmakers’ move to file criminal charges against officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

“Nothing prevents the Senate or the (House of Representatives) from initiating their own complaints against erring PhilHealth officials. Both the executive and legislative branches, representing the interest of the people, are duty-bound to rid any government agency or entity of corruption and wrongdoing,” Guevarra told reporters when sought for comment.

This came as Senator Panfilo Lacson on Sunday said they are “keeping their options open” in filing their own charges against erring PhilHealth officials.

Guevarra reiterated that more persons would be charged by the Task Force PhilHealth which is looking into irregularities as its investigation delves deeper into the state insurer’s affairs.

“On the part of the DOJ, its work of leading and coordinating the efforts of the member agencies of task force PhilHealth has just begun. As we continue to probe more deeply into the fraud centers in the state health insurer and build up cases, more names may be included and more complaints will be filed in the coming days,” Guevarra said.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday formally endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman the complaint against former PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales and other senior officials.

In his letter to Ombudsman Samuel Martires, Justice Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand Sugay said the complaint of the National Bureau of Investigation on irregularities in the state insurer involved the questionable grant of cash advances to health care institutions in the National Capital Region under its interim reimbursement mechanism (IRM).

The said mechanism is provided for under PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0007 and allowed the release of funds during natural disasters and armed conflicts. Up to 33 percent or PHP5 billion of the PHP14.9 billion released through IRM has been liquidated.

Named in the complaint were former president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales, executive vice president Arnel de Jesus, senior vice president Renato Limsiaco, senior vice president Israel Francis Pargas and vice presidents Gregorio Rulloda, Imelda Trinidad de Vera, Lolita Tuliao, Gemma Sibucao, and Lailani Padua.

Guevarra said these charges are for violation of Sections 3(e) and 3 (i) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, malversation of public funds or property, violation of Sections 251, 255, and 272 of the National Internal Revenue Code, and Section 4 of Republic Act 1051, which requires government agencies to deduct and withhold taxes in payments made to private institutions and individuals. (PNA)

Solons free to file raps vs. PhilHealth execs

By Benjamin Pulta  October 5, 2020, 1:10 pmShare

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (File photo)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said he sees nothing wrong with lawmakers’ move to file criminal charges against officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

“Nothing prevents the Senate or the (House of Representatives) from initiating their own complaints against erring PhilHealth officials. Both the executive and legislative branches, representing the interest of the people, are duty-bound to rid any government agency or entity of corruption and wrongdoing,” Guevarra told reporters when sought for comment.

This came as Senator Panfilo Lacson on Sunday said they are “keeping their options open” in filing their own charges against erring PhilHealth officials.

Guevarra reiterated that more persons would be charged by the Task Force PhilHealth which is looking into irregularities as its investigation delves deeper into the state insurer’s affairs.

“On the part of the DOJ, its work of leading and coordinating the efforts of the member agencies of task force PhilHealth has just begun. As we continue to probe more deeply into the fraud centers in the state health insurer and build up cases, more names may be included and more complaints will be filed in the coming days,” Guevarra said.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday formally endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman the complaint against former PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales and other senior officials.

In his letter to Ombudsman Samuel Martires, Justice Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand Sugay said the complaint of the National Bureau of Investigation on irregularities in the state insurer involved the questionable grant of cash advances to health care institutions in the National Capital Region under its interim reimbursement mechanism (IRM).

The said mechanism is provided for under PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0007 and allowed the release of funds during natural disasters and armed conflicts. Up to 33 percent or PHP5 billion of the PHP14.9 billion released through IRM has been liquidated.

Named in the complaint were former president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales, executive vice president Arnel de Jesus, senior vice president Renato Limsiaco, senior vice president Israel Francis Pargas and vice presidents Gregorio Rulloda, Imelda Trinidad de Vera, Lolita Tuliao, Gemma Sibucao, and Lailani Padua.

Guevarra said these charges are for violation of Sections 3(e) and 3 (i) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, malversation of public funds or property, violation of Sections 251, 255, and 272 of the National Internal Revenue Code, and Section 4 of Republic Act 1051, which requires government agencies to deduct and withhold taxes in payments made to private institutions and individuals. (PNA)

Leave a Reply