PhilHealth chief vows to 'dismantle' mafia

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 26 2019 10:23 AM | Updated as of Aug 26 2019 10:37 AM

PhilHealth President and CEO BGen. Ricardo C. Morales, AFP (Ret.), FICD at the Senate Hearing on the fraudulent medical claims in PhilHealth, in Pasay City on August 14, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The head of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation vowed Monday to "dismantle" the alleged "mafia" within the state-run health insurance firm.

PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales said executives tagged as "mafia" members have already been reshuffled and an internal investigation is also underway.

"If there is a mafia, I will dismantle that mafia. That is one of my initiatives," Morales told ANC's Headstart.

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Earlier this month, former PhilHealth board member Roberto Salvador identified the "mafia" members as PhilHealth regional vice-presidents Paolo Johan Perez (Southwestern Tagalog Region), Khaliquzzaman Macabato (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), William Chavez (Central Visayas), Dennis Adre (Zamboanga Peninsula), and Masidling Alonto Jr. (Northern Mindanao).

He also tagged PhilHealth Assistant Corporate Secretary Valerie Anne Hollero, PhilHealth Caraga legal officer Jelbert Galicto, and former Region XII vice-president Miriam Grace Pamonag as members of the group.

The alleged "mafia" members however decried the label.

Asked on whether he plans to suspend the "mafia" members, Morales responded: "It depends what the probe will reveal. We have to work with evidence."

"That's why they are being reshuffled so that if there are any connections with the internal mechanisms of the regions they have been assigned to, hopefully, they can be disconnected from that and then we can conduct a probe," Morales said.