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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a memorandum directing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the corruption allegations facing the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth).

In a memo issued Friday, Duterte tasked the DOJ to form a “panel” that will also conduct an audit of the PhilHealth finances and lifestyle checks on its officials.

“The DOJ shall have the authority to require other agencies and instrumentalities of the government to be members of the panel or to assist in its work. It may also seek the assistance of the constitutional commissions and other independent government bodies, and even invite them to be members of the panel,” the President said.

Duterte said the panel may recommend the imposition of preventive suspension on any PhilHealth official to ensure unhampered probe.

“Within 30 days from its constitution, the panel through the Secretary of Justice, shall submit to the Office of the President its findings and recommendations, which shall include, proposed legal actions against officials and employees found responsible for acts of corruption or anomalies in PhilHealth,” he added.

Malacañang earlier said the task force will be composed of the Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit, Civil, Service Commission, Office of the Executive Secretary, and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Council.

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