PACC to file raps against 36 PhilHealth execs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 6, 2020   •   579

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is set to file raps against 36 Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) officials next week amid the mass corruption issue in the agency.

According to PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica, they are preparing to file administrative charges and has recommended the dismissal of said officials. Belgica, meanwhile, did not identify the names of the involved officials.

Ipapasa na po namin sa Ombudsman next week, those cases na we believe are airtight cases na. Mga naimbestigahan na namin. Definitely po madadagdagan pa iyan as the investigation proceeds (Those we believe are airtight cases, we will submit it to the [Office of the Ombudsman] next week. There will definitely be more cases as the investigation proceeds),” he said.

Belgica claims that PhilHealth’s poor IT System had given way to corrupt officials to do anomalous activities. He also said corruption is done in various regions across the country which is similar to the ‘Pork Barrel Scam’ system.

So every region na nagta-transact ang mga ospital in different places, doon nagkakaroon ng areglo, doon nagkakaroon ng connivance. Ang bulk ng pera ng PhilHealth na nawawala, doon lumalabas (So in every region where hospitals do their transactions that’s where connivance happens. The bulk of PhilHealth’s money goes there),” he said.

Meanwhile, the PACC and Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte to form a task force that will head the investigation on the PhilHealth corruption allegations.

PhilHealth has already denied the allegations saying the claims have no proper basis or evidence. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

PACC chief Greco Belgica tests positive for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   August 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chairperson Greco Belgica on Friday confirmed that he has contracted the dreaded novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Nakakalungkot na sa kabila ng ating pag-iingat ay tinamaan pa rin ako ng COVID-19. Tunay ngang hindi biro ang sakit na ito at talagang mapanganib,” Belgica wrote in a post on Facebook.

“Humihingi ako ng dasal para sa aking paggaling at dasal para sa kaligtasan ng lahat,” he added.

He, however, assured the public that he will continue to discharge his duties in fighting corruption.

“Gayunpaman, positibo man tayo sa sakit ay positibo pa rin nating haharapin ang mga hamon ng aking sinumpaang tungkulin na labanan ang katiwalian sa gobyerno,” he said.

Duterte on Pacquiao’s corruption allegations: ‘I think he’s punch-drunk’

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night lambasted Senator Manny Pacquiao  anew for alleging that billions of pesos have been lost to corruption in government agencies.

Pacquiao earlier alleged that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) failed to properly distribute P10 billion worth of financial aid from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

“Mga kaibigan huwag kayong maniwala diyan,” Duterte said during his public address Monday night.

“Papayag ba naman ang [Commission on Audit]? Hindi lang iyan. Papayag ba kami? Papayag ba ang mga secretary ng mga departamento na ganun may mawala 10 billion? That is a statement coming from a guy who is punch-drunk, lasing,” he added.

Pacquiao claimed anomaly in the DSWD’s transaction with the digital wallet service provider Starpay Corporation.

The boxer-senator said he has evidence to prove that the program is missing P10 billion in SAP funds and that he will ask the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to investigate.

Both DSWD and Starpay have denied the allegations.

Pacquiao’s accusations came after President Duterte challenged him to prove his claims that corruption under the Duterte government has worsened.

The Chief Executive said the senator’s corruption claims are just part of a strategy given the latter’s obvious plan to take the highest position in the upcoming 2022 elections. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

DOE refutes Pacquiao’s corruption allegations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) on Wednesday (July 7) refuted Senator Manny Pacquiao’s corruption allegations, saying the senator lacked research on the issue.

Pacquiao claimed that the energy department awarded the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) a contract without going through any bidding process.

“Mula sa P7,000 paid-up capital ay naging instant billion-peso company ang IEMOP sa loob lamang po ng isang taon,” according to Pacquiao.

(From a P7,000 paid-up capital, the IEMOP instantly became a billion-peso company in just one year.)

During a public briefing on Wednesday, DOE Asec. Gerardo Erguiza Jr. denied these claims and stated that the senator lacked research regarding the issue.

“Medyo ill-advised po yata dito si Sen. Pacquiao at kulang ng research no, dahil wala pong ganoon na pangyayari dito,” he said.

(Senator Pacquiao must have been ill-advised and lacked research because no such thing has happened here.)

Erguiza said that there was no need to go through any bidding process and that the IEMOP is under the mandate of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). He reiterated that the DOE is not involved in the operations of the IEMOP.

“Hindi naman involved ang DOE sa pagpapatakbo ng independent market operator. Pagdating sa operations, wala hong pakialam ang Department of Energy diyan,” he said.

(The DOE is not involved in the business of the independent market operator. The DOE has nothing to do with the operations.)

However, the DOE official said they are prepared to face any hearing and are willing to provide documents regarding any investigation on the alleged corruption.

Meanwhile, Senator Richard Gordon said the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee would need basis and evidence regarding Pacquiao’s allegations before conducting any hearing. Gordon said they have not received requests or any documents from Pacquiao.

“Investigation of corruption cases must proceed but my committee cannot investigate based merely on newspaper accounts. I have neither received any request nor has any Resolution been filed regarding Senator Manny Pacquiao’s allegations. Moreover, no documents have been shared with us,” he said in a statement.

“The Blue Ribbon must know what it will be specifically investigating. It cannot go willy-nilly into any battlefield without knowledge of the what, the who, the how, the when, and the damage it caused the government. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the specificity of the allegations,” he added.

However, Gordon said he has instructed the Blue Ribbon staff, as well as his own office staff, to get in touch with the authorities to find out any basis regarding the issues and will immediately act accordingly. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

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