Sotto rebukes Morales: PhilHealth doesn’t need Superman, just axe all corrupt execs

By: Christia Marie Ramos - Reporter / @CMRamosINQ - Inquirer.net | August 12,2020 - 03:36 PM

Senate President Vicente Sotto III. File photo / Senate PRIB / Henzberg Austria

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday rebuked Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president Ricardo Morales over his recent remark that even “Superman” cannot rid the state insurance firm of corruption.

“Tanggalin mo lahat ng corrupt, hindi kailangan si Superman!” Sotto, who is leading the Senate investigation into fresh allegations of corruption within PhilHealth, said in a tweet.

(Remove all the corrupt officials, you don’t need Superman!)

In an earlier radio interview, Morales said it is not easy to fix alleged irregularities in PhilHealth.

But Sotto said that if Morales was “dead serious” about ridding PhilHealth of corruption, he should have fired corrupt officials since the day he was appointed at the helm of the agency.

“If you are dead serious about ridding your office of corruption, you should bring the ax on day one,” the Senate president told INQUIRER.net in a text message.

“Also, you should [n]ot allow the sharks to encircle you,” he added.

In a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Morales admitted that the “systemic” fraud in PhilHealth cannot be solved in one year or even in the few years to come.

“Sabi nga nila, Rome was not built in a day. Hindi mabibgla ‘yan. Pero dahan-dahan magsisimula tayo hanggang makakita tayo ng buwelo, hanggang matututo ang mga tao, hindi na sila gagawa ng mga katiwalian at malilinis natin,” the PhilHealth president in a radio interview.

(They say Rome was not built in a day. It cannot happen immediately. But slowly we’ll start until we see a flare until people learn, they’d no longer do corruption and we’ll be able to clean it up.)

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Morales, a retired Army brigadier general, as PhilHealth president and CEO in July 2019 to supposedly rid the agency of corruption.

But more than a year later, Morales admitted during the Senate hearing last August 4 that he has yet to fire a single PhilHealth official due to corruption, citing a lack of substantial evidence against them.

Despite new allegations of corruption in PhilHealth, Morales still enjoys the trust and confidence of Duterte.

Duterte’s spokesman previously said the chief executive would not fire Morales unless there is evidence linking the latter to corruption.

JPV

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TAGS: corruption, morales, PhilHealth, Sotto

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