Sep 15, 2020 @ 14:40

Duque not yet off the hook as Guevarra vows more charges coming ‘very soon’

Health Secretary Francisco Duque is not yet off the hook in connection with the alleged massive corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

This as Task Force PhilHealth has submitted its 177-page report to President Duterte recommending the filing of criminal and administrative complaints against at least seven (7) PhilHealth officials. Duque wasn’t one of them.

“Our report is about our initial findings only. Further investigations will be conducted and more people may be charged,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

In a statement released by Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete, Task Force PhilHealth said that its” composite teams are still continuing with the investigations to determine the liability of others involved in similar or other wrongful practices in PhilHealth. ”

Guevarra made the comment when his take was sought on Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s statement questioning the absence of Duque’s name among the persons the task force wants to be prosecuted.

“No Duque? No Del Rosario? I’m dumbfounded! Article 217 (Malversation) of the [Revised Penal Code] is very clear,” Sotto said.

The Senate Committee of the Whole, which Sotto chairs, earlier recommended the filing of malversation and graft charges against Duque and several others over the allegedly questionable release of billions of funds through PhilHealth’s emergency cash advance measure.

The committee also wants administrative cases filed against resigned PhilHealth senior vice president for legal sector Rodolfo del Rosario and all the other officers and employees of the agency’s Protest and Appeal Review Department “for their failure to act and gross neglect of duties relative to the cases pending in their department.”

“Perhaps the Ombudsman would have a better perspective of the anomalies,” Sotto said.

Duque served as PhilHealth board’s ex-officio chairman. #

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