Does a mafia-like syndicate operates in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)?
Department of Justice (DOJ) Usec. Markk Perete said on Wednesday, September 16, that the probe of Task Force PhilHealth has yet to find proof on the existence of the said mafia, and the alleged involvement of Health Sec. Francisco Duque III.
“Ang nakikita lang natin is yung negligence o pagkukulang. Whether there is collusion, whether there is a mafia, hindi pa natin iyan na-coconfirm at this point,” Perete said during DZRH’s Damdaming Bayan.
The Task Force PhilHealth, led by the DOJ, recently submitted its report to President Rodrigo Duterte, and recommended the filing of criminal and administrative charges against the following:
- resigned PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales,
- Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Arnel De Jesus,
- Senior Vice President Jovita Aragona,
- Senior Vice President Renato Limsiaco Jr.,
- Senior Vice President Israel Francis Pargas,
- officer-in-charge Calixto Gabuya Jr., and
- Division Chief Bobby Crisostomo.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed surprise that the task force did not recommend charges against Duque, who serves as an ex-officio member of the PhilHealth board of directors, and its chairperson.
The Senate, earlier, recommended the filing of charges against several PhilHealth officials, and Duque, who was named godfather of the mafia in the state-owned health insurance during the hearings conducted by the Upper House of Congress.
Perete stressed that Task Force PhilHealth based its 177-page report on the results of its initial investigation.
He explained that the evidence collected by the inter-agency task force showed that information and documents were withheld from the Board of Directors.
“Mukhang may mga impormasyon na hindi ibinigay sa kanila, at mga dokumento na hindi ipinakita. On that basis, ang conclusion ng task force ay na-mitigate yung kanilang negligence,” Perete explained.
“Based on the facts and the evidence na hawak ngayon ng task force, hindi pa lumalabas na grossly negligent. Wala pang makitang basis for a filing of gross negligence na siya naman hinahanap ng ating batas for them to be criminally liable,” he added.
Perete assured that Task Force PhilHealth will continue to investigate the anomalies in the agency.