'Yayariin ko kayo': Duterte warns 'corrupt' PhilHealth officials

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2020 12:11 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he will go after officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) who are involved in corrupt practices.

According to Duterte, he will make sure that erring officials will be held responsible.

He also advised those who are innocent to just stay put and continue working.

"Itong PhilHealth, sabi ko yayariin ko kayo. Maniwala kayo. Yung mga inosente naman wala kayo dapat i-ano. Tahimik lang kayo at continue working," Duterte said.

"Pero 'yung, ngayon ito, nakalusot kayo sa ibang maybe presidente. Sa akin, sadsad talaga kayo, maniwala kayo," he added.

Duterte did not mention any names.

PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales, along with other officials, are being investigated by Congress over their alleged involvement in anomalous transactions, including overpriced computers and other materials, in the state-run insurance firm.

The PhilHealth chief has belied the allegations, saying several "corrupt officials" are trying to discredit the insurance firm's modernization program that would make flagging irregularities easier.

Duterte's remarks come days after he ordered the formation of an inter-agency task force to investigate anomalies in PhilHealth.

Duterte's spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the President would not fire Morales, among retired generals in the administration, unless there is corruption evidence against him.

The state health insurer came under fire after its resigned anti-fraud officer, lawyer Thorrsson Montes Keith, went public with allegations of corruption, saying some PhilHealth officials pocketed around P15 billion in funds through various schemes. 

He also claimed that several items for the agency's IT department were overpriced by the millions.

Morales, who was tasked by President Duterte to rid PhilHealth of corruption, is pushing to overhaul the agency's current information system to curb fraudulent activities.