Duterte still trusts PhilHealth chief despite corruption claims, says Bong Go
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president and CEO Ricardo Morales despite allegations of widespread corruption within the agency, former special assistant to the president and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said.
But the President, according to Go, will not hesitate to ax Morales should investigations prove his involvement in the alleged irregularities within the state insurer.
“As of now, nabanggit niya (Duterte) sa akin na malaki pa ang tiwala niya kay Gen. Dick Morales. Sa kanyang integridad,” Go told reporters in a virtual press conference on Monday after the Senate opened the second regular session of the 18th Congress.
(The President told me that he still trusts Gen. Morales.)
“Sa ngayon po, as of last night, ‘yun po ang nabanggit ni Pangulo na meron siyang tiwala kay Gen. Morales. Pero pag meron pong napatunayan na merong katiwalian, kung may kinalaman siya, I’m sure sisibakin siya. Dapat mapatunayan na meron talaga,” he added.
(He told me last night that he still trusts Gen. Morales, But if it is proven that he is involved in irregularities, Im sure he will be fired. But the allegations have to be proven.)
Allegations of widespread corruption within the state-owned insurer surfaced after a controversial meeting among PhilHealth officials and Cabinet members reportedly led to the resignation of several officers of the agency.
Among them is anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith, who accused Morales of being a “coddler or may have been the new leader of the syndicate” preying on the premiums paid by the state insurer’s members.
But Morales had earlier said that Keith was only “vengeful” after supposedly being denied a position he was applying for.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Panfilo Lacson have also filed a resolution seeking an inquiry of the whole Senate into issues currently hounding PhilHealth.
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