PhilHealth top honchos ill

PHILHEALTH President and Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Morales might not face another Senate hearing while his Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Arnel de Jesus has formally requested Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III to excuse him from the next hearing scheduled on August 11. 

Sotto confirmed that Morales' staff had sent a copy of the official's medical certificate to the a Senate Committee of the Whole secretariat a Mfew days before the hearing.

The medical certificate from Cardinal Santos Medical Center stated that Morales was diagnosed with lymphoma and is currently undergoing chemotherapy and advised to complete 6 cycles of treatment.

"He (Morales) is advised to complete 6 cycles of treatment during which he will be immunocompromised and vulnerable to opportunistic infections. It is therefore in his best interest that I have advised him to take a leave of absence," Morales' physician said in the medical certificate.

Meanwhile, de Jesus also sent the copy of his medical certificate to Sotto stating that he is confined at Asian Hospital and Medical Center.

The medical certificate signed by Dr. Joel Dela Rosa said de Jesus is scheduled for coronary angiogram, angioplasty and pulse generator replacement.

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson said Philhealth's officials failure to attend Tuesday’s hearing is their loss, not the Senate’s as they won’t be there to respond to new issues that the resource persons will raise against them as well as to new incriminating documents in his possession.

"Having said that, I wish PCEO Morales well in his fight against the big C. In all sincerity, I join his family in praying for his recovery. It is unfortunate that these new corruption issues have exploded at a time when his health condition is at its low point," Lacson said.