President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City on August 24, 2020. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to dedicate his remaining two years in office to hold corrupt Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) officials accountable.

“Iyong PhilHealth ang dapat imbestigahan at dapat i-prosecute lahat at dapat ikulong. Kung iyan na lang ang trabaho ko sa maiwan ko sa dalawang taon, iyan na rin ang gagawin ko,” he said in a taped public address aired Tuesday morning.

“One of the  few things that I can do in the remaining two years of my term, uubusin ko ito ‘yung panahon ko to work on the cases for people who are involved in PhilHealth,” he added.

On Aug. 7, Duterte ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ)  to create and lead a task force to investigate the alleged corruption within the state insurer.

During the same broadcast, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra reported that PhilHealth’s information technology system was “fragmented.”

“It can easily be manipulated because there is no centralized control over the management information system,” he said.

Additionally, the task force found PhilHealth’s legal sector as “one of the biggest sources of allegedly fraudulent activities.”

“So far, in the fact-finding and investigation reports that we have received so far including those from the Senate and the House of Representatives, it seems that the legal sector is a very ripe source of irregularities,” Menardo said.

Resigned anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Keith in a Senate hearing revealed that a “mafia” within PhilHealth pocketed about P15 billion through corrupt and fraudulent schemes.

The DOJ-led task force was given until Sept. 6 to report its findings and recommendations to Duterte. John Ezekiel J. Hirro