Duterte orders multi-task force to probe alleged PhilHealth anomalies

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DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday ordered the Department of Justice to create a multi-agency task force to investigate Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) executives who are allegedly involved in the P15-billion anomaly.

In a press statement, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the task force to be convened by the Department of Justice will include top officials from the Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit, Civil Service Commission, Office of the Executive Secretary, Office of the President, and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

The task force will have the power to investigate, conduct lifestyle checks, and preventively suspend PhilHealth personnel believed to be involved in corrupt practices.

Roque said the investigation includes preventive suspension, he also asked the people not to worry because it is the President who listens to the people who are ranting against the alleged multi-billion anomaly.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed receiving the order on Friday. The memo states the panel can recommend to Duterte to impose a preventive suspension on any PhilHealth official “to ensure the unhampered conduct of the investigation”.

The task force is required to submit to Duterte its findings and proposed legal actions against erring officials within 30 days.

During the Senate and House committee hearings, a former official also claimed that top officials of the government’s health insurance agency took the money in different schemes emphasizing the over-budgeted IT program.-Newsline.ph

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