Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri raised during the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on PhilHealth controversies that investigative bodies such as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were having a hard time accessing documents from PhilHealth in the course of its investigation of the embattled health corporation. Zubiri said, “Who can answer this? Somebody has to answer this, we should not allow this agency not to cooperate with an investigative body such as the NBI. It is unheard of, that they will not cooperate, that they will not give records to this investigative body.”
Seeing that the Commission on Audit Representative, Dir. Cleotilde Tuazon, was nodding her head, Zubiri directed his questioning to Dir. Tuazon, to which she replied, “‘Yan po ang naging problem namin actually sa PhilHealth, they refuse to give documents.”
“Actually, ‘yan po ang naging basis ng qualification namin ng opinion kung bakit disclaimer ang opinion na ibinigay namin sa kanila, because they did not give us the documents and we were not also given full access of the system. It was only late, late na. Month of May na po noong nabigyan kami, in which case tapos na ‘yong audit period namin and we are in the process na of preparing the Audit Observation Memorandum and the drafting of the report,” she continued.
“So ever since po, laging ‘yan po ang problema namin sa kanila, even doon po sa mga contracts, meron po tayong regulation na ang contracts, within 5 days after na napirmahan ang mga contracts, it has to be submitted to COA with all the supporting documents including ‘yong mga bidding documents na ‘yon, pero as you’ll know po doon sa 2018 audit report namin, meron kami doong finding under observation No. 14 on page 105 and 106, sinabi po namin doon na hindi sila nagsusubmit ng mga documents even doon sa magsusupport doon sa mga contract that they entered into. In fact may finding pa kami doon, na may nabayaran sila na hindi nabigay sa amin ang documents, so talaga pong ‘yon po ang naging problema namin sa PhilHealth.”
Sen. Zubiri replied, “We heard it straight from the horse’s mouth, from the representative of COA, hirap na hirap silang kumuha ng dokumento dito sa ahensyang ito. We heard it from the NBI as well, in many instances they’ve come out publicly on TV that they are having a hard time getting the documents from PhilHealth as well. Parang lumalabas talagang may mafia dito sa loob, they’re protecting something. Imagine a mere clerk in a small office of government, may mawawalan ng ilang piso, may mawawala na isang materyales ng gobyerno, ikukulong. Ito ay bilyon-bilyong pisong hawak nila, kaban ng bayan, pera ng bayan, Mr. President, pero hindi naman sila nagpapa-COA, nagpapa-audit at nagpapaimbestiga. Ibig sabihin may tinatago siguro sila, Mr. President.”
The Senate Majority Leader could not hold his anger back and almost cursed during the hearing, “Mapapamura ka ng pucha, magagalit ka talagang pu@#&* talaga dahil sa nangyayaring ito, pera ng taong bayan ito, para sa mahihirap, Mr. President.” SENATE.GOV.PH