Roque not interested in Philhealth post, calls it a demotion

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, answered he is not interested in being the chief of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), replacing Ricardo Morales.

“Demotion po ‘yan. I’m not interested,” Roque, a Cabinet member, said in a televised briefing.

Roque earlier said if Morales could not implement the Universal Health Care Law, he could find someone else to finish the task. The current Philhealth chief previously proposed to delay the implementation of the law due to a possible budget deficit by 2024 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roque also said Morales’ recommendation has no legal basis.

“Ito po ay labag sa literal na probisyon ng batas at doon po sa intensiyon ng mga nagsulong ng batas na ito,” Roque, who backed the measure when he was still a -list lawmaker, said.

(This is against the law and the intension of those who pushed for it.)

Morales then answered the Presidential spox, daring Roque to replace him.

“Masasabi ko kay Atty. Roque, be my guest. I will be very grateful if we can find somebody, baka siya. No problem with me. Anytime. But he’s not President, he’s the spokesman, that’s a different thing,” Morales said in an interview with ANC.

Also read: Philhealth: Funds enough for 2020 even amid pandemic

In a separate phone interview, the Morales said Roque “might be overstepping” President Rodrigo Duterte.

“‘Yung sinasabi niya na they can find someone else, that is the statement of Atty. Roque, that’s not the statement of the President,” Morales told GMA News Online.

“Kung andun naman siya sa Malacañang, siya na magsabi na siya na lang pumalit dito…okay lang sa ‘kin ‘yun,” he said.

(If he is already in Malacañang, then he could tell [the President] he could replace me. That’s fine with me.)

Roque earlier vowed he would reveal the corruption and new anomalies at PhilHealth soon, adding if he could, he would commit full-time on cleaning the state insurer.

He insisted corruption is draining PhilHealth’s funds.

“Huwag pong magbulag-bulagan, huwag magbingi-bingihan. Sapat na panahon na po ang lumipas para maimbestigahan na niya at nalaman na niya kung ano ang nangyayari sa PhilHealth.”

(Don’t be blind, don’t be deaf. He had enough time to investigate, and he already knew what was going on at PhilHealth.)