Palace says crime investigator Dante Gierran 'best choice' to lead PhilHealth

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2020 02:24 PM | Updated as of Sep 01 2020 02:55 PM

New PhilHealth President and CEO Dante Gierran. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA-- Seasoned crime investigator Dante Gierran is the 'best choice' to lead the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth), Malacañang said Tuesday as the government sought to clean up corruption in the state health insurer before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down in 2022.

Gierran, who retired as chief of the National Bureau of Investigation in February, is "indispensable" in the bid to rid PhilHealth of corruption, Duterte's spokesperson Harry Roque said, noting the former's professional experience as a certified public account and a lawyer.

"I think Director Gierran is the best choice dahil siya ay CPA at lawyer din po," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

"Meron pang experience in criminal investigation, so asahan po natin na malinis ang hanay ng PHilHealth sa natitirang termino ng ating Presidente na 2 taon," he added.

(He also has experience in criminal investigation so let's expect a clean PhilHealth in the remaining 2 years of President Duterte's term.)

While Gierran had admitted to having no experience with health services, Roque said the seasoned investigator was deemed qualified to lead PhilHealth because of his 7-year management experience.

Under the Universal Healthcare Law authored by Roque during his time as a lawmaker, the president of PhilHealth should have at least 7 years of experience in the field of public health, management, finance, and health economics.

"Director Gierran already has 7 years management experience hindi naman kinakailangan na health economic experience...Wala naman po siyang bahid ng korapsyon," Roque said.

(Health economics experience is not mandatory...He is free from corruption.)

Gierran takes over leadership of the PhilHealth as top officials of the state medical insurer are being investigated for alleged anomalies.

He replaces Ricardo Morales who was told to resign as he underwent chemotherapy.