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Senate may invite PACC’s Belgica to next PhilHealth hearing

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After recommending the firing or filing of charges against 31 officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Presidential Anti-Corruption Council (PACC) commissioner Greco Belgica may be invited to the Senate’s Aug. 11 hearing on corruption at the agency.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Belgica may provide added information on the corruption at PhilHealth, based on the PACC’s investigation.

“I think I will suggest to the chairman of the Committee of the Whole, the Senate President, to send him an invitation para ma-brief niya rin ang COW kung anong documents or evidence na kanyang hawak na wala sa Senate para maka-contribute siya,” Lacson said.

He also said he wants to see the details of Belgica’s findings, which he said should be more extensive.

Lacson said the Senate may also invite resource persons from the Department of ICT and Commission on Audit.

But Lacson also said it now bears watching what Malacanang will do with Belgica’s recommendations.

He cited the Senate’s experience where he and 14 other senators called for the resignation of health secretary Francisco Duque III but the Palace turned a deaf ear.

“Now it bears watching anong gagawin ng Presidente. Kasi sarili na niyang agency yan. It’s no longer the Senate kasi kahapon lang kami nagkaroon ng pagdinig although not too long ago at least 14 of us asked Sec Duque to resign. But PRRD repeatedly said may trust siya kay Sec Duque at may trust siya according to Sen Go, quoting the President, may trust si PRRD kay Gen Morales. But the Senate can only do so much,” he said.

“We can conduct hearings, we can let the public know what is transpiring sa loob ng PhilHealth. At gagawa kami ng committee report para sa aming recommendation and legislative work, ano pwede namin maipasok in the form of legislation para ma-prevent itong pagdagusdos ng pondo ng PhilHealth,” he added.

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