PhilHealth chief Morales takes medical leave amid corruption probe

Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) president and chief executive officer Ricardo would go on medical leave beginning next week amid the investigation on the alleged widespread corruption in the agency.

According to Morales, his doctor advised him to go on medical leave while undergoing chemotherapy for his lymphoma.

“Matigas ang ulo ko eh. Pero sinusunod ko na ‘yung payo ng aking doktor at sinabi niya kung gusto kong gumaling I have to take leave, so next week magli-leave ako,” he said in a radio interview Wednesday.

(I’m stubborn. But I am following my doctor’s advice, and he said if I want to be healed, I have to take leave, so next week I will take a leave.)

“Kaya lang ho sundalo kasi ako eh. Ang sundalo kahit na sugatan ay pipiliting tapusin ‘yung mission,” the PhilHealth chief added.

(That’s why I’m a soldier. The soldier, even if wounded, will be forced to finish the mission.)

The 67-year-old retired military officer asked the earlier this week to permit him to attend the hearing virtually as he submitted a medical certificate showing his current health condition.

Also read: Former PhilHealth SVP says he resigned out of delicadeza

PhilHealth chief takes medical leave amid corruption probe

He added he also decided to follow the advice of his family to take a break and rest from his duties as PhilHealth president.

“Naawa na ako sa kanila, so pagbibigyan ko [I feel sorry for them, so I would give in],” added, but noted that he still wants to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss the issues surrounding the state insurer.

“Naghahanap ako ng pagkakataon para kami ay makapag-heart-to-heart,” said Morales.

(I am looking for an opportunity for us to have a heart-to-heart talk.)

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, responded that the investigation would push through even Morales in on medical leave.

“Alam mo kasi si Presidente is really a very kind person. Lalong-lalo na may sakit si Morales, he will not add pressure to General Morales, and I think that’s a good trait that the President is not a bad one,” Roque said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“It’s up to Morales what he wants to do, but the process of investigation will continue,” he added.