Malacañang on Tuesday clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte’s reshuffle order only applied to regional vice presidents of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and Bureau of Customs officials.

On Monday night, Duterte revealed he had ordered new PhilHealth chief Dante Gierran to reorganize regional PhilHealth offices in two to three days.

“Sabi ko I’ll give you just like the NBI and Customs. I called Jagger, si [Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo] Guerrero dito. Commissioner, sabi ko sa kanya, ‘I want to see a reshuffle of the different regional offices within the next two or three days That goes for the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) pati PhilHealth,’” Duterte said in his public address.

Reading a text message from Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, Palace spokesman Harry Roque clarified that the directive was not intended for the NBI.

The spokesman added that only a reshuffling was ordered, not mass termination of officials.

“Wala pong instruction to remove – reshuffle, i-reshuffle po ang instruction niya. Wala po akong narinig na tanggalin kung hindi i-reshuffle,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said.

Roque said he believed reshuffling of offices should be done regularly to prevent officials from building “kingdoms.”

“Hindi naman pupuwede na masyado silang komportable sa kanilang mga temporary assignments. Sabi ko nga po nag-uugat, at kapag nag-ugat, maraming mga utang na loob which could become a hindrance to the discharge of their functions,” he said.

Corruption allegations thrown at PhilHealth have implicated officials as part of a “mafia” allegedly responsible for pocketing P15 billion. John Ezekiel J. Hirro