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Task force probe to proceed even as embattled PhilHealth chief takes medical leave

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By Prince Golez

The investigation into the alleged irregularities hounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will continue despite chief Ricardo Morales’ medical leave, Malacañang said Wednesday.

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he does not know if Morales, accused of coddling a “syndicate” that allegedly pocketed P15 billion of PhilHealth funds, tendered his leave to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I have no information if he has or whether or not he actually tendered his leave to the President because they are a GOCC. I think the procedure is for him to send it to the board because the board is the policymaking body of any corporation,” according to Roque.

He, however, said the probe on PhilHealth will proceed even Morales requested a medical leave due to his health condition.

“Alam mo kasi si Presidente is really a very kind person. Lalong-lalo na may sakit si Morales, he will not add pressure to Gen. Morales and I think that’s a good trait that the President is not a bad one. It’s up to Morales what he wants to do but the process of investigation will continue,” said Roque.

The secretary said the task force created to investigate allegations of anomalies and corruption in the state health insurer was given a month to come up with a recommendation.

“Let’s allow the process to continue given that the task force was given only a very short period of time within which to conclude its investigation – 30 days.

“We expect that in the next 30 days there will be decisions to either impose preventive suspension, lifestyle check or outright suspension given that all the agencies concerned that could suspend and terminate and charge individuals within the bureaucracy are present and made members of the task force,” he also said.

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