Duterte OKs filing of cases vs Morales, other execs over PhilHealth mess

Duterte OKs filing of cases vs Morales, other execs over PhilHealth mess

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the multi-agency task force created to probe the alleged corruption activities in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to file criminal and administrative cases against former PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales and several other officials of the state insurance firm.

In a taped speech aired Monday night, Duterte read a part of Task Force PhilHealth recommendations.

“I’m sorry for them, but they will have to undergo trial, although they can always prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The presumption of innocence is still attached,” he said.

Duterte to probe PhilHealth officials over the corruption claims unearthed during recent congressional inquiries.

Among allegations of corruption raised involve the procurement of alleged overpriced IT equipment; the supposedly questionable release of funds under the corporation’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM); and the alleged manipulation of the corporation’s financial status.

The that conducted its own investigation into the PhilHealth mess has already wrapped up its inquiry, recommending the filing of cases against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, recently resigned PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales, and several top-ranking officials over the alleged misuse of funds under the state insurance firm’s emergency cash advance measure.