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Harry Roque backs ex-PhilHealth officer’s claim that P15 billion lost to corruption

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By Prince Golez

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque is convinced that resigned anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Montes Keith was right in his claim that billions of PhilHealth funds have been lost due to the alleged massive corruption in the agency.

In an interview over CNN Philippines’ The Source Wednesday, Roque said he believes that Keith, who earlier said that a “mafia,” allegedly composed of executive committee members, pocketed some P15 billion from the agency, made an “accurate estimate,” citing another source who said the same.

“When we initially brought to the public’s attention the WellMed’s scam… we also had a source who said that for a period of time, PhilHealth lost about P174 billion more or less,” according to him.

In 2019, WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center landed in hot water after allegedly charging the government insurance company millions of pesos for dialysis treatments of members who were already dead.

“That’s why if you look at what Atty. Keith said, perhaps he’s giving us an accurate estimate because he’s not the only one who says that. What is somehow making people believe (him) is he is an anti-fraud investigator, and initially when he resigned, (PhilHealth chief Ricardo) Morales denied that he was an anti-fraud investigator,” said Roque.

He added that the initial attempt of Morales to disclaim Keith’s employment established his credibility.

“So, someone who is familiar with the pattern of fraud perpetrated in the PhilHealth, I would say that’s convincing because I had another source who said that, more or less, that’s how much money being lost annually,” the spokesman said.

Morales had earlier dismissed Keith’s allegations, saying that he was just “vengeful and spiteful” after being rejected for another job in the agency.

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