Sat. May 8th, 2021

Finally, the Office of the Ombudsman has issued a preventive suspension covering Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) officials involved in alleged anomalies relating to the release of funds P2.7 billion under the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM).

It was the National Bureau of Investigation that filed cases against the respondents before the Ombudsman.

“After a thorough consideration of the records, this Office finds sufficient cause to place respondents under preventive suspension pursuant to Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6770, also known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989,” the Ombudsman said in a Consolidated Order.

Named respondents were Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Arnel de Jesus; Renato Limsiaco of the Fund Management Sector; Senior Vice President-Health Finance Policy Sector Israel Francis Pargas; Area Vice President for Area II Gregorio Rulloda, concurrent Vice President of PhilHealth Regional Office-National Capital Region (PRO-NCR); and Lolita Tuliao, PRO-NCR Central Branch manager.

Also included as respondents are Imelda Trinidad de Vera-Pe, Gemma Sibucao, and Lailani Padua.

Earlier this week, two House committees formally recommended the filing of criminal charges against Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd, former PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales, and other PhilHealth officials allegedly involved in irregularities within the state insurance firm.

The House committees on public accounts and on good government and public accountability approved the 65-page report on their investigation into the alleged graft and corruption in PhilHealth.

The committee report recommended the filing of charges against Duque, Morales, and other PhilHealth executives for violation of Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Art. 22 of the Revised Penal Code on alleged illegal use of public funds in connection with the anomalous implementation of the IRM. SOVEREIGNPH

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