Press Release
October 22, 2020

Rooting out systemic corruption in government: Bong Go reiterates calls to preventively suspend and file more cases against erring PhilHealth officials

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go urged the inter-agency task force created by President Rodrigo Duterte to intensify its investigation into the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation by recommending preventive suspensions and actively filing more cases against former and current officials found involved in corruption or negligence of duties.

Go reiterated the recommendation of the Senate through Senate Resolution No. 63, dated 19 August 2020, urging the President to preventively suspend the "top management" of PhilHealth.

The Senate resolution, adopted with all Senators as co-authors, urges the President to impose preventive suspension over the "top management" of PhilHealth involved in the irregularities in the agency, those responsible for delay or refusal to submit documents pertinent to all investigations being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation and Commission on Audit.

Go, as chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, expressed deep concern about the allegations of widespread corruption within the state insurance agency which serves a vital role as a pillar of the healthcare system.

"Sabi ko nga noon, kung hindi lang magagalit ang human rights advocates, dapat pilayan o putulin ang daliri o kamay ng mga corrupt para matigil talaga ang kalokohan," warned Go.

"Karapatan ng mga Pilipino ang mabuhay ng tahimik at 'yung pera nila ay walang masasayang o mananakaw dahil sa corruption. Ang pinaglalaban ko dito ay ang karapatan ng bawat Pilipino na dapat mabigyan ng assurance na ang pera nila ay nagagamit ng tama, nararamdaman nila sa pamamagitan ng maayos na serbisyo, at hindi nananakaw ng mga kurakot dyan," he emphasized.

Under its mandate, PhilHealth is tasked to administer the National Health Insurance Program which provides Filipinos with health insurance coverage as well as ensures affordable, acceptable, available, and accessible health care services.

Go also earlier called for the preventive suspension of PhilHealth officials accused of corruption in order to protect the integrity of the investigation led by the Department of Justice and also to preserve the integrity of the agency.

"Exasperated na po si Pangulong Duterte dahil sa korapsyon sa gobyerno. Para rin po itong pandemya na sumisira sa ating normal na pamumuhay. It is important to remove the 'bad eggs' para hindi na makasira pa sa serbisyo ng gobyerno o makahawa pa sa mga ibang kawani ng gobyerno na nais lang magsilbi sa kapwa Pilipino," he added.

Earlier this month, the National Bureau of Investigation filed criminal complaints against top PhilHealth officials for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code on malversation of public funds or property, among others.

Given the initial gains made by the task force for the administration's anti-corruption campaign, the Senator recommended expanding the scope of the investigation to include other national agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations, that are similarly fraught with allegations of mismanagement and corruption.

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