PhilHealth Mindanao RVP denies 'inordinate influence', 'mafia' tags

Angelo Andrade, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2020 04:18 PM | Updated as of Aug 13 2020 08:03 PM

PhilHealth regional vice president Datu Masiding Alonto Jr., welcomes the probe on the agency but denied 'inordinate influence' and 'mafia' tag claims by its president Ricardo Morales. Angelo Andrade, ABS-CBN News

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - PhilHealth Regional Vice President Datu Masiding Alonto Jr. on Thursday denied allegations that he has 'inordinate influence' inside the state health insurer.

Alonto was one of the Mindanao VP's mentioned by PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales in the Senate hearing as allegedly having inordinate influence.

Alonto said this may have stemmed in the past when they allegedly declined to be reassigned to other posts. Disputing the allegation, he showed two reassignment orders dated September 2019 and February 2020.

"This issue of inordinate influence stems from the fact that in the past, we allegedly did not want to be re-assigned. But for the record, we have been re-assigned, almost all of us," Alonto said.

"In my case, twice re-assigned in 2019, and in March 2020, or just before the lockdown. Last Senate hearing kasi, President General Morales mentioned us, yung medyo hindi nagpa-reassign. Thankfully, at the latter part of the hearing, he modified his answer. Sabi niya na re-assign ko na sila," he added.

The Mindanao VP also denied the mafia tag allegation.

"Kami daw ay mafia, but hindi daw corrupt. Mafia na allegedly may koneksyon. There is no such thing as organized group here out to defraud government," Alonto said.

"In my case, I've been with PhilHealth since 1999. Natural may associations kami among our regional officers, but our association is more of professional," he explained.

Alonto welcomes the investigation in PhilHealth, citing such issues as the alleged overpriced IT equipment, falsification of financial, and rigged promotion as serious allegations.

"Lahat 'yan ay coming from the top. Kami sa regions, we are also spectators. 'Yung balitang nakuha mo at nakuha ko, pareho lang. But going back to allegations, these are serious. Kailangan i-examine mabuti. That's why, we welcome investigating bodies to look into this." he said.

Despite the corruption allegations, Alonto assured that PhilHealth will continue to serve the public, especially during the pandemic.