CSC head denies commissioner’s charge

August 26, 2020

CIVIL Service Commission Chair Alicia dela Rosa-Bala has denied the allegation of (CSC) Commissioner Aileen Lizada that she had wanted to suppress information on the cases filed against PhilHealth officials.

In a statement, dela Rosa-Bala said that what Lizada claimed during a Congressional hearing on alleged PhilHealth irregularities was patently false and misleading.

The CSC head said she was only observing as a matter of protocol to restrict herself from issuing comments and disclosures pertaining to judicial proceedings to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court or obstruction the administration of justice under the subjudice rule.

Lizada when asked at the hearing said that there was guidance to keep information away and it came from no less than the CSC Chair.

“Chairperson Bala would never ask any CSC official or employee to ‘suppress’ the sharing of information that could otherwise be legally shared, more so before the House of Representatives Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability,” part of the CSC chief’s statement said.

Lizada and Asst. Commissioner Ariel Ronquillo were among the resource persons attending the PhilHealth anomaly hearing.

However when Ronquillo refused to answer several questions addressed to  him, lawmakers asked Lizada to clarify whether there was an attempt to hide information from the House panel to which she replied “yes.”

Ronquillo then disputed Lizada’s claims saying he could not remember there was such a directive coming from the Chair regarding the matter.

But Lizada said there was a radio recording that would prove her claims.

She added that Ronquillo himself knew these orders.

PhilHealth has been rocked by a series of corruption allegations, from overpriced procurements to the allocation of interim reimbursement mechanism funds for COVID-19 response, to non-COVID-19 hospitals.