By Ben Rosario
As billions upon billions of pesos in fraudulent claims went to the pockets of corrupt personnel and officials of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) since the past two decades, nobody among those implicated in the anomalies has been charged before the anti-graft court.
Iloilo City Rep. Janette Garin, a former secretary of the Department of Health, revealed this on Wednesday, saying there remain no charges filed against the culprit although numerous investigations have been conducted by various probe bodies on the mess.
Garin and members of the House minority bloc vowed to dig deep into the most recently uncovered multi-billion peso irregularity involving fraudulent reimbursement claims for dialysis sessions.
She challenged incumbent Health Secretary Francisco Duque to muster political will to pursue the PhilHealth officials involved in the dialysis mess.
Ang Magsasaka Rep. Argel Cabatbat said the people involved in the irregularities have become bolder, adding that these “are dangerous people.”
He recounted that one of those behind the fake PhilHealth claims even marked him for assassination that happened in Quezon City years ago.
“I am calling on our Director General (Oscar) Albayalde to give security to the investigators who are after the PhilHealth scam. They are going after dangerous people,” said Cabatbat, who filed frustrated murder charges against the suspected mastermind in the attempt to liquidate him.
In the same press conference, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo called on PhilHealth to modernize its database system in order to help officials detect fraud.
Quimbo said reorganization may also be resorted to, adding that honest people should be taken in.
The neophyte lawmaker noted that while Universal Healthcare is s among the landmark pieces of legislation of the Duterte administration, its implementation should be properly carried out in order to benefit over 100 million Filipinos.
“If these problems are not adequately addressed, the goals of the Universal Health Care Law will not be attained,” said Quimbo.
Meanwhile, Reps. Arnolfo Teves (PDP-Laban, Negros Oriental) and Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod Partylist) filed separate resolutions calling for a congressional inquiry into the PhilHealth dialysis scam.
If approved, the still-to-be-completed Committee on Good Government and Accountability is expected to head the investigation.