Warned with contempt, PhilHealth IT execs admit error over network switch specs

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2020 08:51 PM

MANILA--Two officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on Tuesday admitted erroneously identifying in a previous Senate hearing computer network switches, which were supposed to be procured but deemed overpriced.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson squeezed the admission out of Jovita Aragona, chief information officer, and Calixto Gabuya, acting senior manager of the IT and management department, threatening them with contempt, which could have detained them at the Senate in the middle of the pandemic.

"We admit na nagkamali po kami," Gabuya told senators, followed by an admission from Aragona.

Lacson questioned the officials for allegedly lying under oath over the planned purchase of network switches worth P348,000. He said they claimed that the model to be purchased was the Cisco 2960XR 24 Port.

"Enough with the smoke and mirrors, Chief Aragona and Mr. Gabuya!" he said.

"No amount of technicalities will conceal the fact that you repeatedly lied to mislead not just this committee, but the Filipino public. Malinaw pa sa sikat ng araw – it was Cisco 9200 24 Port and not the Cisco 2960XR 24 Port."

Aragona later acknowledged that the item to be procured was the 9200 model.