MANILA - Twenty-one officers of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. cried foul Friday against the criminal complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation in connection with the alleged misuse of funds on "ghost" dialysis treatments.
WellMed Dialysis Center in Quezon City allegedly made payment claims for dead patients from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) from 2016 to 2018.
The NBI said 21 officials of PhilHealth-Metro Manila violated laws when they allegedly approved the accreditation of WellMed despite an ongoing investigation into the clinic and failed to conduct periodic monitoring of health care institutions.
The 21 accused said in a statement that the NBI "appears to have copied [our] names from a document we submitted that contained the constituted members of the accreditation subcommittee from 2018-2019 without subjecting us to investigation or verification."
The group said they were willing to undergo investigation despite NBI's accusations, which they dubbed "sweeping, irresponsible and insensitive."
"We have concerned families and relatives and we deserve privacy. We are ready to face the accusation at the proper venue and be given due process," they said.
Philhealth President Ricardo Morales, meanwhile, noted that the officers are “innocent until proven guilty.”
He also welcomed an impending probe of the Office of the Ombudsman, after lawyer and former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque filed graft and other cases involving alleged anomalies in Perpetual Succor Hospital in Cebu.
“Ang papel namin (our role) is to allow the investigations to happen, to cooperate with them while not distracting the functions of the corporation,” Morales said.
Morales also said "there is no evidence so far of corruption or wrongdoing" so far against 8 Philhealth officers tagged as members of a "mafia" within the agency during a recent Senate inquiry.
- Report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News