WellMed whistleblowers seek state protection after 'ghost claims' exposé

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 25 2019 05:40 PM | Updated as of Jun 25 2019 06:03 PM

MANILA — The 2 former employees of WellMed Dialysis Center who exposed the clinic's alleged "ghost claims" scam are seeking to be placed under the Witness Protection Program (WPP), Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed Tuesday.

Leizel Aileen de Leon and Edwin Roberto accused their former employer of instructing them to falsify documents in order to claim patients' dialysis benefit from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

The 2 claimed that they prepared several PhilHealth forms and falsified these documents by "counterfeiting or imitating signatures and making untruthful statements" supposedly for fear of losing employment and under threats from WellMed owner Bryan Sy.

The DOJ has indicted Sy, De Leon, and Roberto for estafa through falsification of official documents.

Guevarra said De Leon and Roberto's applications to be state witnesses are yet to be approved. 

The fraud, first reported by broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer through a series of investigative reports, led President Rodrigo Duterte to "reorganize" PhilHealth. 

Duterte has tapped retired army general Ricardo "Dick" Morales to head the agency after Roy Ferrer resigned amid the scandal. 

PhilHealth earlier said it would hire 130 fraud investigators, 12 more lawyers, and 54 doctors to help validate the alleged fraudulent claims. —With reports from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News