Ejercito: Diversion of seniors’ P10.6B health fund ‘heinous’

Senior citizens with eye conditions. (FR Agbaya image)

SENATOR JV Ejercito on Tuesday called the use of P10.6 billion PhilHealth fund for senior citizens for the establishment of barangay health centers “heinous” and three times more cruel than the Dengvaxia fiasco.

“I can only describe this act as an utterly heartless and insensitive to the condition of our senior citizens. I can’t find good conscience in this,” said Ejercito.

The Senate health committee chairman said that based on documents, former Health Secretary Janette Garin and former PhilHealth President and CEO Atty. Alexander Padilla were responsible for denying seniors citizens their health insurance premiums.

A case had been filed against Garin and Padilla with PhilHealth interim president Celestina Ma Jude de la Serna as the complainant.

De la Serna filed the graft complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman on March 27, but a copy of the complaint was given to the media only on Tuesday, May 29, during the joint congressional oversight hearing on PhilHealth’s performance, according to a Rappler report.

Garin denied any wrongdoing and turned the table against De la Serna by accusing the latter of trying to make her a scapegoat for the bad financial situation of PhilHealth.

rw: wjg