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Ping hoping resigned PhilHealth official can testify vs corruption

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Sen. Panfilo Lacson is hopeful an official of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) who resigned last Thursday amid the controversy surrounding the agency would eventually testify before the Senate.

Lacson said erstwhile PhilHealth SVP for operations retired Brig. Gen. Augustus de Villa has shown signs of being cooperative in the probe.

“Hopefully mag-testify rin siya and i-share sa Senate ano ang nalalaman niya,” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

Lacson said de Villa is from the military, like several of those who did not tolerate corruption at PhilHealth like Atty Thorrsson Keith, Col. Etrobal Laborte, and even corporate legal counsel Atty. Roberto Labe Jr.

But Lacson maintained de Villa still has to submit to the Senate a copy of the documents he has on the overpriced network switches the PhilHealth was to procure.

“Akala ko pinunit niya pero inamin niya na nasa kanyang possession at isusumite niya. So di siya makakaiwas doon. Pag hindi niya ito mai-submit, may subpoena duces tecum, as of record naman under oath na nasa kanya, pwede siyang ma-cite for contempt,” Lacson said.

But Lacson also noted he observed de Villa’s demeanor during the Aug. 4 hearing and noticed de Villa was uneasy.

“Katunayan I admire him for even volunteering the information na nasa kanya pa ang dokumento na yan. Yan ang magandang indication na cooperative talaga siya at gusto niya tumulong sa investigation. And the fact that he resigned, madali-daling basahin ang saloobin niya na baka hindi na rin niya kaya sikmurahin ang nangyayari sa PhilHealth,” he added.

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