Gordon’s call to file raps vs Garin et al ‘a big joke’

A BIG joke.

This is how former Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin described the recommendation of Senate Blue Ribbon committee to file charges against her and other officials of the previous administration.

In a statement, Garin said Senator Richard Gordon is only recycling baseless accusations aimed at “diverting the real issues.”

Just recently, Gordon said Garin,  former budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, and former PhilHealth president & CEO Alexander Padilla allegedly misused the P10.6 billion fund intended for the senior citizen members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

“Despite the repeated lambasting of Gordon against me, taking advantage of his position as Senator and Chairman of the Committee on Good Government, I have kept mum. I see no point in wasting my time on recycled, baseless accusations aimed at diverting the real issues. Falsified and twisted statements from Gordon is not new to me. He has demonized me to the core, simply because I was a member of the Aquino Cabinet and refused to be manipulated by the Philhealth Mafia during my tenure,” Garin said.

According to Garin, it was during her very short stint of more than a year that drastic reforms were implemented in PhilHealth.

“Nakita ko gaano kaluma, kabulok ang sistema sa loob that is why I introduced reforms,” the solon said.

“Among these changes are the STOP PAYMENT ORDER against flagged institutions which was very effective;  Review on case rates and alignment with medical associations was stopped;  Changes in the organizational structure installed for purposes of check and balance; Cases filed were transported to the ICU and allowed to sleep;  Excessive and exorbitant travels and seminars.

“These reforms earned me the ire of the Philhealth mafia. Marami ang nagalit, marami ang ayaw sa paglilinis sapagkat kinain na ng mali at maruming sistema sa loob,” Garin said.

“Nakakapagtaka na pilit binabaliktad yung katotohanan. The Senate Committee on Good Governement investigated the Wellmed Dialysis Scam where allegations of ghost patients and fraudulent practices were revealed by whistleblowers. More than a year ago pero tila pinatulog ito. Kaya naman lumala and impunity became very clear to those who continuously abuse and defraud PhilHealth,” she added.

“Kung totoong nag-imbestiga siya at hindi lang simpleng ax to grind ito, malalaman niya na walang basehan ang alegasyon ukol sa P10.6 billion na paulit-ulit niyang binabanggit. That money is part of the Unprogrammed Fund in the 2015 GAA. Bago i-release and budget na ito, may mga kundisyon na kailangan munang ma-meet o maabot.

Garin said that Section 12 of the Special Provision of CY 2015 GAA provides a share of the DOH on Sin Taxes when the target for tax collection is actually collected.If this target will be reached, DOH can request the budget to implement Universal Health Care, attain Millenium Develoment Goals, pursue Health Awareness Programs, Medical Assistance and Health Enhancement facilities.

“Target however was not reached, hence no such appropriation was released. This is very clear even in the internal investigation conducted by Philhealth. It is very clear that the alleged 10.6B Fund is non-existent,” she said.

“On the issue of premium payment for senior citizens, noong wala pang GAA, binabayaran ito through the Point of Care System,” Garin pointed out.

Abad, former Representative of Batanes, also denied Gordon’s claims.

In a separate statement, Abad said there is no basis to the accusation of the Senate Committee.

“The charges recommended by Senator Dick Gordon against me in the Executive Summary of his  committee report are baseless, built or nothing but unfounded accusations,” he said.

Abad said the charges that he helped divert P10.6 billion originally intended for the payment of senior citizens premiums for PhilHealth is a brazen lie.

In the first place, there was no P10.6 billion budget to speak of, Abad said.