MANILA - A former high-ranking official of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) on Tuesday said he quit his post due to "delicadeza" as he believes there is truth to corruption allegations in the state insurance firm.
Former PhilHealth Vice President for Operations Augustus De Villa said it was "not a painful decision to break" with his colleagues in the state insurance firm.
"Ako po ay isang taong marangal na may dignidad at integridad, malinis po ang aking konsensya at naniwala ako na hindi ako babagay na magsilbi pa sa isang ahensiya ng gobyerno na punong-puno ng alegasyon ng korupsiyon at katiwalaan," he said during a Senate investigation on alleged corruption in PhilHealth.
(I am an honorable person with dignity and integrity. My conscience is clean and I believe I'm not fit to serve an agency that is full of allegations of corruption.)
"Ako po ay naniniwala na mayroon ngang katotohanan, sinadya man o hindi, at ito ay base sa mga lumalabas na pagsusuri."
(I believe there is truth to the allegations, intentionally or not, based on findings of the investigation.)
De Villa said he has heard allegations of corruption during board meetings of PhilHealth's executive committee but did not elaborate.
"Ako po'y talagang nakikinig lang at naririnig ko ang isyung 'yan. Ang pwede pong makasagot ay 'yung naga-allege," he said.
(I only listened and heard these issues. The ones who can answer these are the ones alleging them.)
"Kung may ebidensiya po, sinabi ko po sa statement ko kanina, ako ay may adbokasiya laban sa katiwalian."
(If these is evidence, as I said in my statement, I have an advocacy against corruption.)
De Villa, a doctor, said his first reason for resigning was to spend more time with his 3 daughters as he had been widowed for 13 years now.
He said he retired from military service in July 2019 and joined PhilHealth in September the same year.
He also cited his health in deciding to leave the agency, saying being a senior citizen with high blood pressure, he has his high risk of contracting the virus.
PhilHealth is facing fresh allegations of corruption in its hospital reimbursement program and supposed overpriced information and technology budget.