Ex-PhilHealth officials face graft charges over car insurance


FORMER ranking officers of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) were slapped graft charges before the Sandiganbayan for allowing the coverage of a private insurance for a public vehicle.

In eight separate charge sheets, the Office of the Ombudsman charged Reynaldo Dalma Jr., former senior vice president; Gregorio Rulloda, vice president for finance; and Nadya Castillo, department manager.

Victor Isla, building and grounds supervisor, and Joseph Vergara and Maribeth Sincuya, administrative officers, are also impleaded.

In the findings of assistant special prosecutor Karen Funelas, the state-controlled company paid nine times a total of P723,878.84 to BF General Insurance Co. Inc.

The amount was for the insurance of, among others, 20 Isuzu Hi-Landers, a 1999 Ford Expedition, six Nissan Urvan Escapade, a Mistubishi L300, and a Nissan Sentra.

In all, Castillo faces nine counts of graft; three counts each for Vergara and Dalma, and one each for Rulloda, Sia and Sincuya.

In the investigation, the Ombudsman highlighted the findings of the Commission on Audit who disallowed the transactions that occurred between 1999 and 2001.

In their defense, Rulloda said that he had reservations in signing the vouchers and only did so when Dalma directed the payments of the insurance premiums after the accounting division certified the payment.

Meanwhile, Vergara and Sincuya said that they exercised diligence and merely carried out ministerial duties.

However, the Ombudsman made it clear in its resolution that government properties should be insured with the Government Service Insurance System.


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