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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday (Sept. 23.) advised rich public officials to live modest lives.

“Government officials and employees, no matter how well-to-do or wealthy they are, are encouraged to live and project a modest life as public servants,” said Guevarra who heads Task Force PhilHealth which investigates anomalies at the state health insurer.

The secretary said “Task Force PhilHealth commenced lifestyle checks as an adjunct of the fraud and corruption investigations.”

“This is a continuing joint undertaking,” he assured.

Despite this, Guevarra expressed support to the move of Ombudsman Samuel Martires halting the conduct of lifestyle checks against public officials.

“I fully understand where the honorable ombudsman is coming from,” he said.

“Indeed a lifestyle check as a stand-alone measure will not conclusively indicate whether a person is engaged in some wrongdoing to enrich himself,” Guevarra explained.

He pointed out “a lifestyle check has to be intertwined with a much deeper process of investigating specific acts of corruption or other crimes.”

“It is meant to strengthen a finding of wrongdoing, as manifested in the lifestyle of the person concerned,” he added.

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