MANILA – President Duterte has asked PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales to leave the agency due to health reasons.
According to DOJ chief Menardo Guevarra, the President is concerned about Morales’ health condition and it would be best for the embattled PhilHealth president to give up his post amid allegations of massive corruptions in the health agency.
Guevarra, who leads a task force formed by Duterte to investigate the anomalies hounding PhilHealth, claimed PRRD made the suggestion for Morales to vacate his post at PhilHealth Monday night, August 24 during a meeting with coronavirus task force officials in Matina Enclaves, Davao City.
“The President took note last night of Morales’ on-and-off health situation, and stated that it would be best for the latter and for PhilHealth to give up his post during these critical times for the agency,” Guevarra told justice beat reporters in a message.
On the other hand, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea added that he had spoken to Morales earlier that day regarding the matter and the latter accordingly did not make any resistance.
“ES Medialdea added that he had talked earlier to Morales, and that the latter said he would understand if he had to be replaced,” said Guevarra.
Reports have it that Morales is undergoing treatment for cancer and has been on medical leave due to his condition. He has been absent from recent congressional hearings for the same reason.
Malacañang has been scouting for his replacement.
A retired army general, Morales was appointed by Duterte in June 2019 to flush out corruption in PhilHealth.
Morales, 67, hails from Davao City, Duterte’s own hometown. He was a member of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, the group of rebellious military officers who wanted to oust the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
In the years after Marcos and after his retirement, Morales joined the AFP General Insurance Corporation as vice president and general manager.
He then moved to the AFP Mutual Benefit Association Inc, where he was president and CEO from March 2011 to September 2013.