MANILA - Former anti-fraud officer of the state health insurer Thorrson Montes Keith wants Sen. Richard Gordon to be included in the list of those to be charged over the alleged corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
“Ang sa tingin ko po dyan, si Sen. Gordon ang isa po,” Keith, the PhilHealth mess whistleblower, said when asked in an interview Tuesday on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo who else he thinks should be included in the initial batch of 7 names that the Task Force PhilHealth had recommended for filing of charges.
(I think, Sen. Gordon is one of them.)
The Philippine Red Cross, which Gordon chairs, has been receiving payments from PhilHealth for the COVID-19 tests it has been administering on returning Filipino migrant workers and some frontliners.
“Hopefully, kung magkaroon ng another investigation, kasama na po siya kasi yung in-admit po ni Atty. (Rodolfo) del Rosario sa Congress na hindi part ng IRM yung perang ibinigay sa Red Cross, mas malala po yun na admission,” said Keith.
(Hopefully, he will be included if there will be another investigation because Atty. Rodolfo del Rosario's admission in Congress that the money given to Red Cross was not part of the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism is a serious admission.)
Del Rosario was PhilHealth senior vice president for the legal sector. He resigned late last month, although, asserting his conscience is clear amid the alleged anomalies in the agency.
The Task Force PhilHealth, headed by the Department of Justice, submitted its corruption probe report on Monday to President Rodrigo Duterte, recommending the filing of administrative and criminal charges against former PhilHealth President/Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Morales and six others.
Keith, who resigned in July over alleged widespread corruption in the agency, said he did not bring up the issue concerning Gordon before the Senate as the latter is a member of the upper chamber of Congress.
“Pero, napakaliwanag po ng evidence sa kaniya,” he said.
(But the evidence against him is very clear.)
The PhilHealth has deposited initial payments to PRC for the latter's COVID-19 testing activities, but failed to remit more after the initial fund was depleted, Gordon had said.
On Sept. 6, Dr. Ramon Murillo, Assistant Secretary General of PRC, said on TeleRadyo that the amount PhilHealth owes the organization has ballooned to P878.7 million, of which, 781.4 million is already overdue.
Keith said he thinks that Congress is already aware of the issue he found against the PhilHealth-PRC deal.
“Nagpasa din naman ako kung anong findings ko doon sa deal between Red Cross and PhilHealth na, could amount to the indictment also of Sen. Gordon. ‘Di ko po alam kung paano nila i-investigate yan, 'yung dawit sa investigation 'yung Red Cross,” he said.
(I submitted my findings in the deal between Red Cross and PhilHealth that could amount to the indictment also of Sen. Gordon. I'm not sure how they will investigate that, where Red Cross is linked to the issue.)
Describing Keith as a "spurious source," Gordon, in an interview with ANC last month, said, "Whatever he says against the Red Cross is a canard."
Gordon said the testing activities of PRC is legally allowed, particularly the Bayanihan 1 law and Universal Health Care law.
"By the way, for the record, I never asked that the Red Cross do the testing. They all came to me... And we signed an agreement. Nobody put a gun on their heads," he said.
He also said that the PRC's testing fee is the lowest, at P3,500.
-- TeleRadyo, 15 September 2020