Amid corruption issues hounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), its beleaguered president and CEO Ricardo Morales bemoaned that his privacy was not respected while his agency was being investigated.

“As President and Chief Executive, it is my duty to represent the corporation while still physically capable. I regret that my privacy was not respected,” Morales said in a statement.

Earlier, PhilHealth said that Morales is willing to attend the Senate hearing on Tuesday but it would be done online as Morales raised his immunocompromised state.

“PhilHealth President and CEO Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ricardo C. Morales submitted his medical certificate, as required, to request [the] Senate to allow his online (sic) instead of his physical presence,” it said.

Morales was diagnosed with cancer in February and is now undergoing chemotherapy. According to the state insurer, Morales remains in his position against his doctor’s advice. 

PhilHealth Executive Vice President Arnel De Jesus also revealed that his unfavorable medical condition prevents him from attending the Senate hearing into the corruption allegations against the state health insurer. 

Last Tuesday, PhilHealth’s former anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith said a “mafia” in the agency allegedly pocketed around P15 billion of the state insurer’s funds via various fraudulent schemes. 

He stressed that the PhilHealth “mafia” has deep roots in the agency that involves top officials in the executive committee. 

Keith enumerated some of these alleged fraudulent schemes, such as the use of cash advances, the interim reimbursement mechanism, and the continuous procurement of IT equipment the agency already has.

Meanwhile, PhilHealth top brass has vehemently denied the allegations.  RJ Espartinez