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Corrupt Philhealth officials must be prosecuted, jailed — Duterte

President Duterte is determined to run after Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) officials involved in corruption and hold them accountable in the remainder of his term.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City on August 24, 2020. (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

With two years left in his six-year term, the President said corrupt officials in PhilHealth must be prosecuted and sent to jail, adding he will even endorse cases to be filed by the Department of Justice.

“’Yung PhilHealth ang dapat imbestigahan at dapat i-prosecute lahat at dapat ikulong. Kung iyan na lang ang trabaho ko sa maiwan ko sa tat — dalawang taon, iyan na rin ang gagawain ko (PhilHealth must be investigated and all those involved must be prosecuted and jailed. If that will be my job in the remaining two years, I will do it),” he said during his public address aired on state television Tuesday.

“One of the things that — few things that I can do in the remaining two years of my term, uubusin ko ito ‘yung panahon ko (I will spend my term) to work on the cases for people who are involved in corruption in PhilHealth,” he added.

Duterte has renewed his commitment to combat corruption in government during his meeting with several Cabinet members in Davao City Monday. Apart from the PhilHealth controversy, he tackled plans to make a full accounting of the funds spent on coronavirus response as well as compel agencies to publish procurement plans in the newspapers for transparency.

The President had earlier ordered the creation of a task force to probe the allegations of corruption and other anomalies in PhilHeath. The panel, led by the Department of Justice, is authorized to look into PhilHealth’s finances, conduct lifestyle checks on officials and employees, and recommend preventive suspension on officials pending the probe.

In the meeting with the President, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra gave an update on efforts of the task force probing PhilHealth.

According to Guevarra, the investigation will center on the alleged fraudulent activities in PhilHealth’s information technology system, legal sector, and interim reimbursement mechanism. He said they will also implement lifestyle checks on certain officials and recommend structural reforms in PhilHealth.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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