Roque files graft raps vs PhilHealth officials

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2019 07:56 PM

MANILA - Lawyer and former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque filed graft and other complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against former and current officials of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation over alleged irregularities involving P90 million government funds.

Among those that Roque accused of being liable for the reversal of the three-month suspension order against the hospital which was upheld by the Court of Appeals was former PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Roy Ferrer.

Also included in his complaint are the following former and current PhilHealth board members:

- Ruperto Aleroza
- Celestina Ma. Jude Dela Serna
- Eddie Dorotan
- Joan Cristine Reina Liban-Lareza
- Hildegardes Dineros
- Roberto Salvador, Jr.
- Anthony Leachon
- Charade Mercado Grande
- Jonathan Mangaoang
- Lora Mangasar
- Perpetual Succor

The suspension order which should have been implemented in 2016, stemmed from the unjustified extension of confinement of 2 patients in 2015 despite the issuance of their respective physicians of a “may go home” order.

“Respondents’ acts caused undue injury to the government and gave Perpetual Succor unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference when their liability is blatantly limited and downgraded to a mere imposition of fine, thereby removing the penalty of suspension against Perpetual Succor, despite the fact that the case has been previously resolved with finality by the Court of Appeals,” Roque said in the complaint.

Roque said he filed the complaint as a PhilHealth member and as one of the primary authors of the Universal Health Care Law in the House of Representatives.

Aside from graft, the officials also face usurpation of judicial functions under Article 241 of the Revised Penal Code as well as administrative complaints such as grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, grave abuse of discretion and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Roque also said in his complaint that the sitting respondents of the board should be preventively suspended by the Ombudsman.

He also said he is planning to file 5 more complaints against former and current Philhealth officials.

“Wala atang natututo kasi walang nakukulong, kailangan tanggal at kulong,” Roque said.

(No one is learning from this because no one is jailed. We need them to be fired and imprisoned.)