Lacson disappointed, challenges Duterte to fire corrupt PhilHealth officials: 'Sabi niya noong araw pag nakaamoy ka lang, you’re fired.'


Photo courtesy of The Daily Tribune and Inquirer

Sen. Panfilo Lacson swipes at President Rodrigo Duterte anew over the issue of corruption in the Philihealth system.

In an article by the Philippine Inquirer, the President announced recently the he needs more evidence or proof of corruption before he will fire PhilHealth Chief Ricardo Morales. 

On Thursday, Lacson said that the President must review the transcript of the senate hearing on the said corruption.

"Gusto niya ipadala namin sa kaniya buong transcript of what transpired and concentrate on the responses of Morales and the other resource persons, 'yung members ng execom ng PhilHealth, and it is up for him to judge," Lacson said during the ANC interview.

"Sabi niya noong araw just a whiff of corruption pag nakaamoy ka lang, you’re fired. This is not just a whiff of corruption. Very disappointing," the senator added.

“It goes without saying I’m disappointed. We are trying to correct or help the President do some remedial measures,” he added.

Though Lacson expressed optimism that President Duterte would take a look at the senate's findings before he decides on the action to undertake to the PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales and other officials.

“I hope that Malacañang will take a look at our findings and decide for themselves if there is still wisdom in keeping Morales and other officials in their posts,” said Lacson in a separate interview with CNN Philippines.

The Senate committee conducted a hearing on Tuesday to investigate the alleged anomalies done by some PhilHealth officials.

During the hearing, various issues were questioned like the procurement of overpriced IT equipment, questionable implementation of the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism, and allegedly manipulated financial statements.

Also during the Senate hering. Morales denied any involvement in the alleged anomalies in his agency and deny that he is tolerating a mafia-like syndicate operating in the agency that allegedly bagged P15 billion of through fraudulent schemes.

Lacson reiterated that the Senate would be willing to provide Duterte a copy of the full transcript “of what transpired” during the hearing.

The former Police chief said that President Duterte can “concentrate on the responses of Morales and the other resource persons.” 

“It is up for him to judge,” the senator further said.

"In the final analysis, the buck stops, so they say, at his table. Pero kung ganito may pandemya na pagkatapos ganyan marinig natin, ako I was shocked," he said.

"We are trying to correct or help the President do some remedial measures," he added.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the top-level positions in PhilHealth shall be cleansed and that the Senate will submit its findings to the President in the hope of showing him the "evidence" he needs.

The committee is set to resume its investigation into the PhilHealth mess next Tuesday, August 11.

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