Press Release
August 4, 2020

Tolentino questions Philhealth for defying President Duterte's call for resignation of key officials

Administration Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino questioned the head of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) for not implementing President Duterte's order calling for the resignation of the corporation's senior vice president and board members to pave way for its cleansing.

"There was a directive coming from President Duterte sa lahat ng Philhealth vice presidents to tender their courtesy resignation, was there a consequential action from the Philhealth board requiring the VPs to quit," Tolentino asked Philhealth chief executive officer Ricardo Morales during the Committee of the Whole hearing on the alleged widespread Philhealth corruption

In his reply, Morales said there was a Board resolution regarding the resignation of key officials, but it only reached the board members and not the vice presidents.

The Philhealth CEO added he exercised discretion because the agency couldn't function if all vice presidents will resign, adding that no cases have been filed against them.

"Kailangan po na maipaliwanag ito dahil ang sabi nyo mapa-paralyze kayo pag nawala sila eh pero na-promote pa?" Tolentino stressed, adding that the non-implementation of a board resolution is a clear legal violation.

The Senator said the resignation of key officials could have paved the way for needed reforms in the corporation amid serious allegations of corruption.

"Paano mangyayari ang hinihinging paglilinis at reporma sa Philhealth kung hindi sinunod ang utos ni Pangulong Duterte na mag-resign sila," he said.

Tolentino also questioned the promotion of four Philhealth officers involved in the Wellmed dialysis scam last year.

The Senator was referring to Cheryl Peña, Dr. Rizza Majella Herrera, Dr. Bernadette Lico and lawyer Recto Panti, who were promoted to department manager III on May 18.

"Walang tinanggal, walang na-suspend, na-promote pa," a dismayed Tolentino said.

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