Wed. Aug 4th, 2021

President Duterte on December 29, 2020 revealed the names of eight incumbent congressmen and one former legislator who have been linked to alleged corruption in public works projects, including kickbacks and influence peddling.

Duterte said he had to identify the lawmakers accused of anomalies because everyone “has the right to access information.”

The congressmen accused of conniving with district engineers to commit corruption are Josephine Ramirez Sato of Occidental Mindoro, former lawmaker Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao, Alfredo Paolo Vargas of the 5th district of Quezon City, Henry Oaminal of Misamis Occidental who is also a deputy speaker, Alyssa Sheena Tan of the 4th district of Isabela, Paul Daza of the 1st district of Northern Samar, Angelina “Helen” Tan of the 4th district of Quezon province, Eric Yap of ACT-CIS party-list, who is also the caretaker of the Benguet congressional district, and Geraldine Roman of the first district of Bataan

True enough, according to a Councilor in one of the towns of the province of Quezon who refused to have his name mentioned, the President was right in naming Tan as a highly corrupt Congresswoman. Tan’s alleged corrupt activity was substantiated by abarangay official in Lucena City who  lodged a complaint for committing Plunder against spouses Helen Tan and husband, Ronnel, the director of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Region 1, involving over P324 million of funds from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) that was disbursed to a medical facility in Quezon Province purportedly owned by them, which is the RAKKK Medical Center. The alleged amount released, according to the complainant is said to be highly anomalous.

In his complaint filed before the Department of Justice’s Task Force Against Corruption on January 11, 2021, Armando Angcana, a barangay official and resident of Lucena City, said over P324 million from Philhealth’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism or IRM was disbursed to RAKKK Prophet Medical Center, a small hospital based in Gumaca Quezon. Angcana questioned how a small 20-bed capacity, level 2 category hospital can get that huge amount of funds over a period of just eight years, from 2012 to 2020.

Tan is the chairman of the House Committee on Health..

Lawyer Romeo Cobarrubias, legal counsel of the complainant, said there is enough evidence to prosecute the Tan spouses for violating Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 7080 or Anti-Plunder Law as Amended by RA 7659.

“We have evidence to prove plunder due to the enormous amounts involved, P324 million. Receipts issued by the Philhealth showing the transfer of these funds to RAKKK Prophet Medical Center indicate overcharging and possible ghost patients,” Cobarrubias said in a press statement.

He added that Angcana is willing to be a witness to the Tan spouses’ alleged corruption involving funds received by their hospital from Philhealth.

“That the receipt of by RAKK Prophet Medical Center, Inc. of PHP324,219,893.02 in only a span of 8 years was made possible only by the undue influence and intervention of respondent Angelina “Helen” D.L Tan and her husband-respondent, Ronnel M. Tan, who have personal interest in the said health care institution,” Angana said in his complaint.

Angcana’s complaint showed RAKK Prophet Medical Center received the following funds from Philhealth over the past eight years: P7.99 million in 2012; P34 million in 2013; P35.36 million in 2014; P45.23 million in 2015; P30 million in 2016; P49.6 million in 2017; P45.84 million in 2018; P45.51 million in 2019; and P30.56 million in 2020.

He added that while the Tans deny that the medical facility is  theirs, records show that it was incorporated by their children.

Angcana said that Helen and Ronel also used their influence to corner DPWH infrastructure projects in Region 1 and in Quezon Province.

“That the respondents’ position in government, particularly with Congresswoman Tan as a member of Congress and her husband-respondent Ronnel M. Tan as Region Director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) apparently allowed them to corner several DPWH infrastructure projects thru the use of dummy construction companies,” he said in his complaint.

Angcana is the second local official from Quezon province to file a graft complaint against the Tan couple.

On December 2, 2020, Lopez (Quezon province) Councilor Arkie Manuel Yulde filed a complaint before the DOJ anti-corruption task force against the Tan couple for receiving P12.063 million also from PhilHealth through the IRM amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The full story of Yulde filing the complaint against the Tan couple was posted in the Sovereignph.com website that can be accessed through Rep. Angelina Tan, husband Ronnel charged for Graft and Corruption over Philhealth IRM Funds (sovereignph.com)

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