PhilHealth Chief Morales and  13 others signed bank secrecy waivers allowing AMLC  — Congressman Defensor

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Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) chief Ricardo Morales has already signed a waiver allowing the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to check his bank accounts.

Anakalusugan party-list Representative Mike Defensor made the remark on Monday as he presided over the inquiry of the House Committee on Public Accounts and of Good Government and Public Accountability on the alleged irregularities in PhilHealth.

According to Defensor, Morales was one of the 14 PhilHealth officials who have already signed a waiver.

The other officials are:

EVP COO Arnel De Jesus; SVP Dennis Mas; SVP Atty. Rodolfo Del Rosario Jr.; SVP Jovita Argona; Acting SVP Nerissa Santiago; SVP Renato Limsiaco Jr.; SVP Israel Francis Pargas, MD; VP Oscar Abadu; Corporate Sec. Atty. Jonathan Mangaoang; VP Shirley Domingo, MD; Area VP Walter Bacareza; Area VP Francisco Soria, MD; and Senior Manager Bernadette Lico.

“Ito yung mga kasamahan natin sa PhilHealth who have signed a waiver patungkol sa Bank Secrecy Law. Binibigyan nila ng karapatan kung sino man ang mag-iimbestiga na tignan ang kanilang mga bank accounts,” Defensor said.

At least nine PhilHealth officials agreed to sign a waiver during the previous hearing of the committee.

But, Morales was not among them as he left in the middle of the meeting due to health issues.

Defensor presented Morales’ apology letter for leaving the previous hearing, citing difficulties in movement after he underwent chemotherapy last August 7.

“Nagkaroon ng chemotherapy si Gen. Morales noong August 7 at sa kadahilanang yun, batay sa kanyang sulat nahirapan siya kahit na umupo at hindi niya masundan ang pag-uusapan at nahilo si General Morales during the hearing,” Defensor said.

Defensor expressed the panel’s support to Morales as he undergoes medication for his illness.

“We thank you for joining us today and for joining us the last time, and we are praying for you. We hope that through this hearing and the hearings in the Senate, the investigation of the DOJ, makamtan natin ang mga reporma at pagbabago na gusto natin sa lahat,” he said.

Resigned PhilHealth anti-fraud officer Thorsson Montes Keith claimed that the PhilHealth “mafia,” composed of the executive committee, stole some P15 billion through fraudulent schemes, including those involving the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM).

PhilHealth has since denied the allegations.

PhilHealth and its officials are under investigation over the agency’s alleged overpriced purchase of an information technology system worth over P2 billion./Stacy Ang

 

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