President Duterte


MANILA, Philippines — The multi-agency task force created to probe the alleged corruption activities in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has recommended the filing of criminal and administrative cases against former PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales and several other officials of the state insurance firm.


And to that effect, President Duterte has approved the filing of the said cases against Morales, et al.

Approval of the Chief Executive was contained in a taped speech aired Monday night wherein the President read a part of Task Force PhilHealth recommendations on the filing of charges against the said officials of the corruption-rocked state health insurer for violating several provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Revised Penal Code.


“I’m sorry for them, but they will have to undergo trial, although they can always prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The presumption of innocence is still attached,” the President said.


The task force was created by Duterte to probe the PhilHealth officials over the corruption claims unearthed during recent inquiries of both Houses of Congress and the Department of Justice.

For his part, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said those who will be charged criminally and administratively are Senior Vice President Jovita Aragona, officer-in-charge Calixto Gabuya Jr., SVP Renato Limsiaco, SVP Israel Francis Pargas, COO Arnel de Jesus, and division chief Bobby Crisostomo.


Cases of corruption raised allegedly involved the procurement of alleged overpriced IT equipment; the supposedly questionable release of funds under the corporation’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM); and the alleged manipulation of the corporation’s financial status.


Meanwhile, the Senate Committee of the Whole also wrapped up its own investigation and has also recommended the filing of cases against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, recently resigned PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales, and several top-ranking officials over the alleged misuse of funds under the state insurance firm’s emergency cash advance measure. (IAmigo)