MANILA, Philippines – PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales announced that his superiors are aware of his medical leave, Monday. This is amid the allegations that the agency is currently facing.
On Saturday, reports spread about the treatment that Morales will undergo. These are due to his cancer affecting his lymph nodes.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Morales said, “I have already relayed to my bosses my intentions, and it’s up to them to decide.”
“My fate is in their hands. Medical leave. But they still haven’t decided, so I’m still awaiting,” he added.
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The said condition of the PhilHealth chief was made public through a medical certificate that Morales sent to the Senate Committee of the Whole.
The August 7 dated certificate stated that Morales was undergoing treatment for lymphoma and that medical experts have advised him to take a leave of absence.
Morales is taking a leave of absence in spite of the current controversy surrounding the agency he is handling.
The controversy sprung out after PhilHealth’s anti-fraud legal officer Thorsson Keith made a statement before the Senate.
Keith told lawmaker that its executives allegedly pocketed P15 billion through anomalous projects.
“What we found at PhilHealth is the crime of the year due to the syndication of the distribution of cash advance, the interim reimbursement mechanism, and the repeated overpricing of purchased IT equipment,” he told the Senate last Tuesday.
PhilHealth chief medical leave, no bearing on inquiry
Since the publication of Morales’ health conditions, he expressed dismay over the public’s disrespect of his privacy.
He explained that he only sent the said documents to the Senate for them to allow him to attend hearings through video conference. This is because he is immunocompromised.
However, Senate President Tito Sotto slammed this outcry. He told ABS-CBN on Monday, “There is no privacy! If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!”
“I’ve said it before, when you hold a high public office, you are a servant of, and answerable to, the people,”Sotto explained.
He also stated that this arising medical problem of Morales would not affect the Senate inquiry on the alleged corruption.
“It won’t stop our inquiry and other witnesses and testimonies from coming out. It won’t also stop the filing of charges against erring officials of PhilHealth if warranted.” Sotto stressed.