And for good reason. PhilHealth is a murky, stinking swamp that many of its good and well-meaning people from the officials to their rank-and-file employees want drained, not just of some corrupt but well-entrenched officials who do not seem to run out of malevolent schemes to enrich themselves, but of a deeply rooted, mafia-like syndicate that controls the resources of the corporation, and habitually manipulate its financial records, that even the COA seems helpless in the conduct of their regular audit.
If we look closely enough, the story only revolves around the same cast of characters – a circle of high-ranking officials who manage to hog their seats despite the change of leadership and detailed anomalies that we already unearthed in the past.
At the hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the government’s response against COVID-19, Sen. Lacson relayed to the appropriate officials some questions from the public on the tests by PhilHealth and Philippine Red Cross. “We’re not finding fault here… Nang lumabas na 45% ng tests ang na-conduct ng Red Cross, maraming natuwa (kasi ang) impression na dumating sa kanila, libre. Mabuti at maliwanagan ang kababayan natin na may protocols na dapat sundin.”
For his part, PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales said they will publish guidelines to clarify the issue on who can qualify for free COVID-19 testing under PhilHealth, “so the public will be informed.”
At the Senate hearing on the GCTA and related issues, Sen. Lacson stressed the need to resolve the problem involving the capacity of convicts to commit crimes, and put forward the “perfect alibi” of physical impossibility.
At the Senate hearing on the 2019-nCoV situation, Sen. Lacson emphasized the principle of unity of command in addressing the problem, with the Department of Health taking charge because “this is a health issue.”
At the Senate hearing on proposed legislation creating the Philippine Judicial Marshal Service, Sen. Lacson stressed the urgency to secure members of the judiciary who face threats in the course of their work.
During the hearing, Sen. Lacson cited the case of Panabo Judge Dax Gonzaga Xenos, who has been receiving “consistent death threats.” The Office of the Court Administrator said it would look into the case. In the meantime, Lacson asked the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to provide security for the judge.
In his interpellation of the 2020 budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (including the Philippine National Police), Sen. Lacson sought more resources for the PNP and greater capacity and for local government units. He promised to do his part to help.