PAMALAKAYA calls to remove “mafiosi” military men in civilian posts

PAMALAKAYA calls to remove “mafiosi” military men in civilian posts

Manila, Philippines — The latest corruption scandal in the government-owned and controlled health insurance corporation, which is headed by a former military general, indicates that ex-military men are untrustworthy and incapable to head key government posts, according to a progressive fisherfolk federation on Wednesday.

A former anti-fraud officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and now whistleblower confirmed that P15 billion went to the health insurance’s “mafia” which is composed of its executive committee.

In a statement, the militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) said that the PhilHealth corruption scandal was not just a “crime of the year”, but also signifies a “highly corrupt, opportunistic, and immoral regime” especially that it happened during the pandemic, when many people are in serious need of health support and services.

“This is what happens when you appoint ex-military men into the civilian posts. These former generals are not trustworthy, incompetent and incapable of governing, and corrupt to the core,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

According to independent think-tank Ibon Foundation, there are at least 73 military and police officials appointed to key civilian government offices and government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCC).

“While poor Filipinos affected by the pandemic have been deprived of access to basic health services, syndicates inside PhilHealth meanwhile, are enriching themselves out of the contributors’ money,” Hicap added.

PAMALAKAYA calls to file criminal and other appropriate charges against PhilHealth “mafia” in connection with the corruption scandal.

Other former military-turned-government officials who were involved in anomalies were former customs heads Isidro Lapena and Nicanor Faeldon.

“These unscrupulous military officials were all appointed by no less than the chief executive; and despite their tainted service records, President Duterte has got them covered,” Hicap said.

Moreover, the activist group said that it is “high time to demilitarize the civilian bureaucracy” and systematically replace with a “purely civilian-administered government”. ###

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