Whistleblower: PhilHealth wrongly credited P9.7-M to Bataan rural bank

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Whistleblower and former PhilHealth official said the agency wrongly credited almost P10 million to a rural bank in Bataan in an attempt to allegedly corrupt some funds, Tuesday.

Resigned anti-fraud officer Thorsson Montes Keith said that “without any valid reason,” PhilHealth Region II Office personnel wrongly credited some P9.705 million to the Balanga Rural Bank in Bataan.

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“I discovered that it was multiple transactions of payments of reimbursements of PhilHealth benefit claims for 12 consecutive periods for the month of May 2019 between May 2 to 22,” Keith said in a Senate hearing.

“This is not merely inadvertent as the multiple transaction connotes deliberate intent to defraud the government by embezzling 9,705,332 pesos,” he added.

Keith said PhilHealth Region 2 officials claimed the money was unintentionally credited, but his further investigation showed that senior officials of PhilHealth Balanga, Bataan, could have been involved.

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“I was again wondering why they said that the transfer was a mere error, yet it is clear that Region II has no authority and access to banks located in other regions, in this case, Region III,” he said.

Also read: Zubiri: PhilHealth gives P10M to’ 18-bed’ hospital in Davao

PhilHealth wrongly credited P9.7-M to Bataan rural bank

He added the Balanga Rural Bank did not want to return the money to PhilHealth at first but later agreed due to a demand letter from the state-run insurer.

Keith noted the bank asked for half of 1% of the credited amount compensation (P49,123) for the inconvenience.

He further revealed Region II and the Central Office PhilHealth officials paid the P49,123 to officials of Balanga Rural Bank on September 25, 2019.

“Some people whom I asked information from in PhilHealth believe that Balanga Rural Bank case was just a decoy to cover up something bigger,” he said.

Keith said he heard rumors that a top PhilHealth official has a mistress in Balanga, Bataan, and that another senior official frequently travels in the area.

“The only thing to do is to determine the real owner of the bank account in Balanga, Bataan, and it will open a Pandora’s box,” he said.

“This case has established one of the modus operandi of PhilHealth mafia untouchables, and I have identified some of them,” he added.

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