Malacañang said Friday President Rodrigo Duterte already ordered to probe the alleged corruption inside Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
Palace spokesperson Harry Roque said Undersecretary Jesus Melchor Quitain of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President would lead the investigation.
The inquiry would cover former PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith who filed his resignation yesterday due to the “widespread corruption” in the state-owned insurer. Roque added he received a copy of Keith’s resignation letter.
“We view the allegations of Mr. Keith as a serious matter and therefore enjoin him, and other officials, to cooperate with the ongoing investigation,” Roque added.
PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales denied Keith’s allegations and challenged him to provide proof of his claim.
“Kung may alam siyang corruption, ilabas niya. Mag-aantay pa siya ng August 31 [for his resignation to become effective]? Gawin na niyang Lunes o ngayon, kasi detrimental na ‘yung ano niya… it would compromise the corporation for him to stay, for him to have access to the resources of the corporation,” he said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV earlier in the day.
(If he knew there was corruption, expose it. Why would he wait until August 31 for his resignation to become effective? He should resign on Monday or now.)
Morales added Keith only raised the corruption issue because his application for promotion was denied.
“Hindi naman siya qualified roon kasi kailangan ng training, attitude,” he said, as he jokingly referred to Keith as a “spurned lover.”
(He was not qualified for that because the promotion needs training and attitude.)
Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is expected to also look at the issue. The Ombudsman is investigating Duque regarding alleged anomalies in DOH.
“Tinitingnan pa natin ‘yang incident na ‘yan and of course magsa-submit naman ang PhilHealth ng official na report na ‘yan kay Secretary being the chair of the Board of PhilHealth,” Vergeire told reporters in a virtual interview Friday.
(We will take a look at that incident. PhilHealth would submit an official report to the Secretary being the chair of the Board of PhilHealth.)
A Senate investigation is also underway, said Senator Panfilo Lacson.
“I am now drafting a resolution calling for a Senate Committee of the Whole inquiry,” Lacson said in a message to reporters.