MANILA--Sen. Christopher Go on Tuesday said corrupt officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) should have a finger cut off to discourage anomalies within the government agency.
Go floated the idea of amending penal laws to include such punishment, as senators sought to uncover an alleged multi-billion-peso corruption scheme at the state-run insurance firm.
"Sana po baka pwede nating amyendahan ang batas. Nabanggit ko kanina out of frustration, baka pwedeng bawat mahuli ay putulan ng isang daliri kung maaari para matapos na rin itong kalbaryo ng PhilHealth," he said during the hearing.
(Perhaps, we should amend our penal laws. I mentioned, out of frustration, perhaps every corrupt official caught should have a finger cut off so that this suffering of PhilHealth will end.)
But Senate President Vicente Sotto III reminded Go that "inhumane punishments" were unconstitutional.
Go welcomed the decision of 6 regional vice presidents to take a leave of absence while a Malacañang task force investigates corruption allegations in the agency.
"Pero hindi nagtatapos dito. In fact, this is just the beginning," said Go, adding that others tagged in the anomalies should be preventively suspended "if there's basis."
During the hearing, a Governance Commission for GOCCs official cited PhilHealth's low corporate governance scorecard for 2017 and 2018, when it recorded 43 percent.
"May problema talaga sa governance ng PhilHealth," said commission chairman Samuel Dagpin Jr.