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DoJ indicts WellMed officer, whistleblowers for estafa

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PHILSTAR/BOY SANTOS

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) indicted an officer of WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center Corp. and the two whistleblowers for several counts of estafa through falsification of data in connection with the “ghost” dialysis claims which were paid by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

In a statement released Friday, Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk L. Perete said the investigating prosecutor found that WellMed owner and Vice-President Bryan Christopher W. Sy and whistleblowers Edwin C. Roberto and Liezel Aileen Santos-De Leon “conspired in using falsified documents to collect payments from PhilHealth for alleged medical services to patients who were already dead.”

“The inquest prosecutor meanwhile referred the case against seven other WellMed officers/employees for preliminary investigation. Said employees were not brought to the prosecutor for inquest,” Mr. Perete said.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said the charges are bailable.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed the complaint with the DoJ on June 11, following a complaint filed by PhilHealth.

Mr. Sy and the two whistleblowers, who were former employees of WellMed, were presented for inquest proceedings on the day after they were arrested by the NBI on June 10.




The other WellMed officers included in the complaints are Medical Director John Ray M. Gonzales, Chairman Claro N. Sy, Purchasing Officer Therese Francesca R. Tan, Administration Officer Dick S. Ong, and physicians Porshia C. Natividad and Joemie D. Soriano.

In Mr. Roberto’s sworn statement, which was attached in the complaint, he said that it was Mr. Sy who first instructed him to file the dialysis billing of PhilHealth claims of two deceased patients. Before he resigned in 2018, a total of 27 claims for 280 session worth P808,600 were charged.

Lawyer Harry L Roque, Jr., the legal counsel of the two whistleblowers, previously said that they are applying for the witness protection program so they have to be charged first and have to be discharged in court as a requisite to be under the program. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas