Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Keith’s allegations that the state insurer lost P15 billion in funds due to corruption schemes were “convincing,” Malacañang said Wednesday.

“When we initially brought to the public’s attention the WellMed scam… we also had a source who said that for a period of time, PhilHealth lost about P174 billion more or less,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said over CNN Philippines’ The Source.

“That is why if you look at what Atty. Keith said, perhaps he’s giving us an accurate estimate because he’s not the only one who says that,” he added.

Keith resigned from his PhilHealth post as anti-fraud officer last July 23 due to “rampant unfairness” and the existence of a “widespread corruption” scheme.

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Keith revealed orders by PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales to “massage” probes looking into the state health insurance firm’s acquisition of overpriced Covid-19 testing kits.

Roque said Morales’ previous attempts to discredit Keith further proved Keith’s credibility.

“[As] someone who is familiar with the pattern of fraud perpetrated in PhilHealth, I would say that’s convincing because I had another source that said that more or less that’s how much money is being lost annually,” he added.

PhilHealth denies allegations

In a statement posted in its Facebook page, PhilHealth said it “categorically denies” allegations that officials have pocketed P15 billion.

“This fund was released through the interim reimbursement mechanism to 711 healthcare facilities nationwide to ensure financial liquidity in view of the current pandemic. This will allow hospitals to focus on patient management and equip them with necessary resources, equipment, drugs and medicine,” it said.

In a separate statement, the state insurer said it had yet to receive a copy of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) report on corruption in the agency.

Aside from the PACC, the Senate and the Office of the President are also conducting investigations. John Ezekiel J. Hirro