Sep 6, 2020 @ 10:05

Task force to wind up PhilHealth probe this coming week

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said over the weekend that Task Force PhilHealth will complete its probe into allegations of massive corruption in the state-run agency this coming week.

“We’ll wind up our hearings next week, thereafter analyze and consolidate all the information and evidence that we have gathered, and proceed to prepare our report with recommendations to the president.”

“Our deadline for the submission of the report is on 14 September 2020, but our composite teams will continue with their investigation of the more complicated PhilHealth cases of graft or fraud and file the appropriate legal action even beyond that termination date, ” Guevarra said Saturday.

President Duterte ordered the Department of Justice to form a task force to investigate allegations of massive corruption inside PhilHealth.

Guevarra said the different agencies composing the task force have agreed to fast-track the investigation and special audit on PhilHealth.

“Task Force PhilHealth as a composite group will initiate fresh investigations on alleged anomalies that are not the subject of any ongoing investigation or audit,” Guevarra said.

The task force is composed of the DOJ, Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the National Prosecution Service (NPS).

Last Aug. 4, senators grilled PhilHealth senior officials over the reported corruption in the agency, particularly the allegedly overpriced Information Technology system project proposed by the management; the promotion of officials who were involved in previous controversies; the questioned reimbursements to select hospitals and health facilities; and the supposed mismanagement of the agency’s funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thorsson Montes Keith, PhilHealth anti-legal fraud officer, recently blew the whistle on his colleagues by citing the “widespread corruption in PhilHealth. ” He just quit his post.

The Senate Committee of the Whole has been conducting a formal inquiry into the PhilHealth fund mess.

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