‘Ghost dialysis’ probe includes health chief

June 17, 2019
Francisco Duque

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said Health Secretary Francisco Duque may be covered by the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) inquiry into the controversial “ghost dialysis” fiasco involving the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Guevarra explained that Duque’s role as former chief executive officer of PhilHealth was enough ground to include him in the probe.

“The NBI probe may cover a number of years and will include the actions of every officer or employee of PhilHealth who had knowledge, or ought to have knowledge, of any irregular payments by PhilHealth,” he revealed.

Duque served as CEO of PhilHealth from 2001 to 2005 before he was appointed Department of Health (DOH) secretary in 2005 during the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Reappointed as DOH chief by President Duterte in Oct. 2017, he also currently sits as chair of the board of PhilHealth.

Guevarra made the statement in response to Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s comment why Duque has been spared from the controversy when he is a also an official of PhilHealth.

Lacson has questioned why the DOH chief did not join the other PhilHealth officials led by president and CEO Roy Ferrer in tendering their courtesy resignation amid the investigation into the “ghost dialysis” controversy, citing issues of “double standard” and “propriety.”