No pressure from PRRD: PhilHealth chief free to act on his plans

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Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) president Ricardo Morales may continue with his plans without added pressure from President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Since the allegations of corruption within the state insurance firm, calls for Morales’ resignation has hounded the agency. Recently, a workers union of PhilHealth workers has called on Duterte to appoint a ‘caretaker’ in replacement for Morales, who will be taking a medical leave next week to undergo chemotherapy for lymphoma amid the ongoing legislative probe.

“Alam mo kasi si Presidente is really a very kind person. Lalong-lalo na may sakit si Morales, he will not add pressure to Gen. Morales,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

[The President is a kind person especially that Morales is sick, he will not add pressure to Gen. Morales]

“It’s up to Morales what he wants to do but the process of investigation will continue,” he added.

President Duterte has ordered the creation of an inter-agency task force to look into PhilHealth and its officials over corruption claims.

“So, as far as the fate of Gen. Morales is concerned, the President has said, ‘I believe in his integrity, I believe he is a soldier of courage and of principles.’ But he will await the results of the task force,” Roque reiterated.

“He (Duterte) wants to await the decision of the task force, that’s why he created it in the first place,” he added.

Morales, along with other top officials, are being investigated over their alleged involvement in anomalous PhilHealth transactions, including the padded information and technology budget. A former official also claimed that top executives in the agency have pocketed a whopping P15 billion in public funds.