On the remarks of Philhealth President and CEO Morales

The remarks of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) President and Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Morales are yet another attempt to divert attention from a damaging issue, which is that the Philhealth head has failed to clean up the agency, which was the mandate given to him by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Mr. Morales has the wrong view that only the courts can remove scoundrels in Philhealth; when in truth, he has administrative powers to suspend and remove them. Worse, he takes advice from lawyers who are the ones responsible for the pitiful plight of the agency. A case in point was when Mr. Morales took the advice from his counsels to withhold official documents in relation to the WellMed ghost dialysis scam. The National Privacy Commission had to opine what any person should know: That internet privacy is not a shield from investigation for graft and corruption.

It is tragic that Mr. Morales is taking things personally. This is not about me being the Presidential Spokesperson. This is about President Duterte’s appointing Mr. Morales to fix the organization and eliminate corruption.

Mr. Morales once said, “I will make it a point that our members will renew their trust on Philhealth.” I enjoin cavalier Morales to engage in self-examination whether he has made our people trust Philhealth and whether his continued service in the agency would be a service to this nation which we both love so dearly, or whether his talents can be better utilized elsewhere.