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Ping hints of ‘bigger’ PhilHealth scam; says P154B lost to corruption

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By Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Sunday vowed to expose more corrupt practices that could pin down Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson
(CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)

Lacson said hinted that there is a bigger issue than the plunder and graft charges in connection with the rental agreement between a company owned by his family and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), which has been filed against the DOH chief before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Meron na naman, mas malaki pa. Mas grabe pa, di lang ito lease ng building niya kundi may family corporation involved na meron na naman kinalaman tungkol sa PhilHealth o tungkol sa DOH mismo (There’s another one, much bigger. More serious than this issue about leasing their building, but a family corporation is involved that is also connected with PhilHealth or DOH itself),” Lacson said in an interview over Dobol B, GMANews TV.

“May hinihintay pa akong last document. May hawak akong mga dokumentong, karamihan ng document na dumarating sa amin, galing din sa loob eh (I’m just waiting for one last document. I’m holding documents, and most of these documents that are coming to us, come from them),” he said, pointing to the agencies.

Asked if he would share his information with President Rodrigo Duterte, Lacson said he would do so as soon as he has completed all the documents.

“Pag kumpleto na. Sa ngayon substantial. Pero mas maganda ang makarating hanggang logical conclusion. (Once the documents are complete. For now, its substantial. But it’s better if we arrive at a logical conclusion),” he said.

“Mahirap ang kapos, mabuti ang kumpleto na dokumento. Kaya sabi ko substantial enough to at least suspect na may mas malaki pa ito, mas mabigat, (It’s hard to present inadequate documents, its better if we have complete documents. That’s why I said it’s substantial enough to at least suspect that this is much a bigger, more serious matter),” he pointed out.

P154-B wasted by PhilHealth execs

Lacson said he believes exposing the corruption within PhilHealth and DOH this early would help clean the ranks and ensure that the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) law would be free from scams.

“Kasi sa tinagal-tagal ng panahon nakikita nila ang namumuno sa PhilHealth pinaglalaruan ang pera. Ang kwenta nila for the last five years lang, P154 billion ang nalustay. Yan ang kwento nila (For many years, they can see that the leaders of PhilHealth have been wasting the money. Based on their calculations, around P154 billion worth of funds were wasted in the last five years due to corruption. That’s what they claim),” he said.

“Siyempre empleyado roon, di kabahagi ng kalokohan doon. Ngayon sila namumulat, tumulong na tayo sa pagbubulgar (Of course, some employees within the office are not part of the modus. Now their eyes have been opened, and they decided to help out in exposing these acts),” Lacson said.

The controversy hounding Duque stemmed from allegations of fictitious dialysis treatments at the WellMed Dialysis Center involving PhilHealth. The issue of conflict of interest was raised against Duque when it was revealed that Bryan Christopher Sy, one of the owners of WellMed, was his godson.

This was followed by Lacson’s disclosure that the DOH chief’s family owned the building where the PhilHealth’s regional office in Dagupan City, Pangasinan was renting.

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