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LIVE: Senate hearing on alleged corruption in PhilHealth

Live

The Senate continues its investigation into alleged “widespread corruption” in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Tuesday, August 18.

On July 23, PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith resigned, citing rampant corruption in the agency among his reasons. Before him, PhilHealth head executive assistant Etrobal Laborte resigned too.

Keith, Laborte, PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales, and board member Alejandro Cabading are among witnesses the Senate committee of the whole has summoned to the hearing. The senators plan to ask them about alleged corruption in PhilHealth that has which has persisted despite earlier investigations. (READ: PhilHealth defends reimbursement scheme, official in corruption allegations)

The alleged corruption involves P1 billion in questionable transactions, the Senate says, citing its own sources.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the goal of the probe would be to find out how to amend the law that established PhilHealth in order to prevent further corruption in the agency.

The senators will also be looking for accountability if the allegations are proven true.

In the first hearing, witnesses alleged that PhilHealth top executives misspent or pocketed P15 billion in public funds, bloated a budget proposal by P734 million, and disbursed to dialysis and maternity clinics millions of pesos in funds meant for COVID-19 hospitals.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Panfilo Lacson said this second hearing will tackle even more allegations of corruption. They are also waiting to see whether Etrobal Laborte, a key witness who earlier backed out of the probe citing threats to his security, will show up. – Rappler.com

Watch the previous hearing here: