MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte believes that Ombudsman Samuel Martires will eventually file corresponding charges against former Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales and other officials, Malacañang said Tuesday.
In a virtual Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte described Martires as a “reasonable man” for aiding the investigation into anomalies surrounding the PhilHealth.
“Kung ikukumpara mo doon sa Task Force PhilHealth na isang buwan nagkaroon na ng rekomendasyon, siyempre mas matagal po iyong proseso sa Ombudsman (If you compare it to the Task Force PhilHealth that released a recommendation within a month, of course, the process in the Ombudsman is longer),” he said.
Roque said Duterte is hopeful that the Ombudsman would “expedite” and “cut delays” in the investigation into massive corruption within the state insurer.
In a taped public address late Monday night, Duterte said the good rapport between the Ombudsman and Executive department aided the probe into irregularities within the PhilHealth.
Duterte lauded Martires for “trying his best” to go after erring PhilHealth officials.
“I find Martires as a very reasonable man. Pero iyong naglabas ‘yung sa PhilHealth na sunod-sunod, sabi ko na (But when allegations involving PhilHealth came out one after the other, I said) well I think he is really also trying his best to help us,” he said.
The Office of the Ombudsman earlier ordered a six-month suspension of 13 PhilHealth officials amid ongoing investigations on the alleged fraudulent activities within the agency.
Last week, Duterte approved the recommendation of Task Force PhilHealth to file criminal and administrative charges against PhilHealth officials.
Duterte has repeatedly vowed to use his remaining years in office in cleaning PhilHealth and punish officials involved in illicit activities. (PNA)