Lacson suspects PhilHealth water leak in Ilocos region office 'intentional'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2020 05:14 PM | Updated as of Aug 21 2020 05:15 PM

MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Friday said there was "enough reason" to suspect that the water leak that destroyed documents and machines in a Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) office in the Ilocos region was "intentional."

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) - which has been probing PhilHealth's alleged anomalies - earlier reported that several documents and computers were damaged after water leaked from the roof of the insurance firm's office in the Ilocos region.

"There is enough reason to suspect that the destruction of documents and records caused by the roof leaks in the Philhealth’s regional office in Pangasinan was intentional," Lacson said.

Lacson did not substantiate his suspicions, but said he has advised a PACC investigator to seek the help of the National Bureau of Investigation to "immediately conduct forensics on the damaged portion of the building to determine if force was applied to cause the water leaks."

Senate Health Committee chair Christopher "Bong" Go admonished PhilHealth officials over the incident, underscoring that the agency received billions of funds, especially during the global pandemic.

"Ang laki laki ng pondo ninyo, tapos hindi niyo mapagawa ang bubong ng isang opisina ninyo," Go said in a statement.

(You have so much funds and yet you can't afford to repair your office's roof.)

"Ayaw kong pangunahan ang kalalabasan ng imbestigasyon, pero dapat malaman kung dulot lang ba talaga ito ng malakas na ulan, may kapabayaan bang naganap, o sadyang hinayaang masira ang mga dokumento," he said.

(I don't want to get ahead of the investigation, but we really have to find out if it was caused by string rains, neglect, or there was someone who intentionally wanted the documents destroyed.)

Senate investigations earlier revealed that 2 PhilHealth officials from the Cagayan region authorized the disbursement of P9.7 million to a rural bank in another region.

The dialysis center, which allegedly received the fund, denied that they own any bank account in Bataan province.