Duterte seeks Philhealth reorganization

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 9, 2019   •   2122

President Rodrigo Duterte seeks the reorganization of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) due to alleged corruption issues in the agency.

In a television guesting on Saturday (January 8), President Duterte said the P154 billion-worth of funds allegedly lost to anomalous PhilHealth claims is unacceptable.

“When I go back [to Manila], I’m making the announcement that I am maybe reshuffling the PhilHealth. For the sheer amount that was lost, I have to reorganize your entity,” he said.

The president also believes that the agency should be managed by a member of the military or a businessman to curb irregularities in collecting PhilHealth claims.

President Duterte also reiterated he trusts the integrity of PhilHealth acting president, Roy Ferrer.

“I do not have the slightest doubt about the integrity and honesty of Roy Ferrer,” he said.

The issue stemmed from a report made by Edwin Roberto, a former employee of WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center, that WellMed continues to file PhilHealth claims even after their patients have died.

Based on the initial investigation, the Dialysis Center had done the same mode of operation 28 times while 12 cases are still being verified by authorities.

According to Ferrer, there is an alleged “mafia” inside the agency which serves as an accomplice of several hospitals, clinics, and doctors engaged in said anomalous transactions.

“Gusto nila sila nandoon for more than 20 years (They want to stay [in PhilHealth] for more than 20 years) and now we are getting more and more whistle blowers that are coming out to bring forth what they are doing in their respective regions. Marami po mga tiwaling ginagawa po at iniimbestigahan na po natin ito, (there is a lot of corruption and investigations are underway),” he said.

Aside from the reshuffling, President Duterte has also ordered authorities to file charges against the owner of WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center and other involved government officials.(with reports from Joan Nano)

Duterte on Faeldon: ‘I still believe in him’

Marje Pelayo   •   September 9, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte still believes in former Bureau of Correction (BuCor) Chief Nicanor Faeldon despite his dismissal order.

For one, President Duterte noted Faeldon’s action of informing the President about a warehouse that stored billions of pesos worth of cigarette with fake tax stamps when he was still head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

That incident prompted the manufacturer to pay the government P37-B in tax.

This is one reason why despite the controversy that hounded the BuCor including the irregularities in conducting the law on Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA), President Duterte’s trust in Faeldon remains.

“Faeldon is a decent man. I still believe in him. There was a time when a businessman owned three warehouses filled with cigarettes with fake stamps,” the President said last Friday (September 6) at the groundbreaking ceremony and time capsule laying for the Naga permanent housing project.

“It was Faeldon who told me about it,” he added.

Malacañang clarified that it was not due to corruption that Faeldon was fired from office but because of disobeying the President’s order.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted, however, that Faeldon is not yet cleared as the Office of the Ombudsman is set to begin its investigations.

The Palace Spokesman added that it is the President who will decide whether or not to reappoint Faeldon to a different government position. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte on GCTA issue: ‘I suspect that corruption was present there’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte suspected that there might be corruption in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) regarding the issue on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.

“I suspect that corruption was present there [at the BuCor]. Ibig sabihin, baka iyong iba, baka binili (meaning, some might have offered bribe). That’s why it’s important that we rearrest and re-investigate,” he said during a press briefing on Wednesday (Sept 4).

Duterte called on the released heinous crime convicts to surrender for a recomputation of their GCTA.

“I will give you 15 days liberty provided you make yourself available anytime that you will be called for an investigation to have a recomputation, or if there is an investigation of corruption then you cooperate fully,” he added.

During the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Senate President Senator Vicente Sotto III said there is an intelligence report on a so-called “GCTA for sale” in BuCor.

“Marami raw pera ang umikot, milyones daw (There is a lot of money involved, millions) we have intelligence report. I already shared [it] with Sen. Lacson,” said Sotto.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Duterte orders freed heinous crime convicts to surrender

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

Inmates at the Manila City Jail | Courtesy: Photoville International

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the heinous crime convicts who were released through the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law to surrender.

“All of you, released under GCTA, you surrender or have yourself registered under BuCor (Bureau of Corrections),” he said.

During a press conference on Wednesday (Sept 4), the Chief Executive has given them 15 days to surrender. He is also considering a P1 million reward for the re-arrest of each released heinous crime convict who refuses to surrender.

BuCor data shows that 1,914 heinous crime convicts have been released under the GCTA since 2014.

They also include the three convicts in the rape-slay of the Chiong sisters.

According to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, the PNP will track those who will not surrender to the authorities after the 15 days given by the president.

“They are given 15 days to show up and submit for investigation to recompute the GCTA. After the deadline, the PNP will track and arrest those who will not surrender themselves to authorities,” he said.—AAC

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