Days numbered for embattled exec
By ROGER M. BALANZA
As an investigation into alleged corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) deepens, the days may be numbered for Ricardo Morales, the beleaguered president and CEO of the government’s insurance agency,
The Senate is probing alleged corruption in the agency involving P15 Billion fleeced by a “mafia’ composed of top executives of the agency.
President Rodrigo Duterte has also ordered creation of a task force led by the Justice department to conduct an investigation into the alleged corruption
But Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the President will give Morales his walking papers not due to the probe but for health reasons. Morales is battling cancer.
According to Guevarra, Duterte “took note of Morales’ on-and-off health situation,”and “that it would be best for the latter and for Philhealth to give up his post during these critical times for the agency.”
Guevarra told reporters that Duterte suggested removal of Morales on Monday, August 24.
On the night of Monday, Duterte gathered his Cabinet in Davao City to discuss the ongoing battle against Covid-19. In his virtual address to the nation, the President did not mention about replacing Morales but urged a deeper probe into allegations of corruption in Philhealth
.Duterte also urged Congress to create an oversight committee that will monitor the disbursement of funds earmarked to ensure the government’s effective fight against the coronavirus disease. A multi-million peso special fund, Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM), intended for the battle against Covid-19 was reportedly diverted by the Philhealth syndicate to private hospitals that did not treat Covid-19 patients.