PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Justiceto form a task force to investigate accusations linking Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) officials to massive graft and corruption.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra acknowledged receipt of the Malacañang memorandum, which among other things, has authorized the DOJ task force to place any PhilHealth official under preventive suspension pending results of the investigation.
"We shall base our actions on such facts as may be established and such conclusions as may be reasonably inferred therefrom," Guevarra said when asked by reporters for comment on the Palace memorandum.
Thorsson Montes Keith, DOJ anti-legal fraud officer, recently blew the whistle on his colleagues by citing the “widespread corruption in PhilHealth. ” He just quit his post.
The Senate Committee of the Whole has been conducting a formal inquiry into the PhilHealth fund mess. During the almost 10-hour-long inquiry, senators questioned PhilHealth officials over the following issues: *a proposed P2.1-billion information technology project, which even state auditors had earlier flagged as overpriced *a supposedly questionable release of funds under the corporation’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) *the alleged manipulation of the corporation’s financial status.