THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 has widened its investigation on the missing checks the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) issued to Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) amounting to P240,000.
NBI 7 supervising agent Rennan Augustus Oliva yesterday received three more Philhealth checks from Bert Colong, of the Office of the Building Official. The three checks, along with the six Philhealth checks previously turned over to NBI 7, will be sent to NBI Manila for examination.
Concha Ruth Adlawan, who posed as a Philhealth trainee, claimed the 28 Philhealth checks from Lourdes Archua, CCMC billing officer. The 28 checks totaled P239,460.25.
Adlawan allegedly used an authorization letter from Dr. Myrna Go, CCMC chief, to claim the checks from Archua.
However, Go denied she authorized Adlawan to claim 28 Philhealth checks from CCMC. She said her signatures in the authorization letter and on the Philhealth checks were forged.
NBI 7 Executive Officer Ernesto Macabare said the nine Philhealth checks will be sent to their central office’s Questioned Documents Examination Department (QDED) for assessment on Monday.
Macabare said the QDED will determine the authenticity of Go’s signature. He also said NBI 7 will summon Archua, the CCMC billing officer who released the checks to a bogus Philhealth representative.
“We will dig deeper into this,” Macabare told a press conference.
Meanwhile, Oliva, a lawyer, took statements from Colong and Peter Regalado, an alleged fixer.
Regalado reportedly introduced Adlawan to Colong to have the three Philhealth checks rediscounted. The three checks totaled P80,000.
But Colong told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday they were also victims of the modus operandi of Adlawan.
Colong said the rediscounting of checks is the business of his wife since 1977. He said they trusted Adlawan and accepted the checks because the latter was carrying an authorization letter from Dr. Go.
For his part, Regalado said a security guard introduced Adlawan to him and also asked him to look for somebody who rediscounts checks.
Regalado said he was unaware Adlawan was a bogus Philhealth representative because the latter was wearing an identification card and ha had an authorization letter from the CCMC head.
Regalado said he will help the NBI 7 locate and arrest Adlawan. The NBI 7 yesterday took the mobile numbers of Adlawan from Regalado. Oliva said Adlawan’s mobile numbers
are still active.
Meanwhile, Assistant Ombudsman Virginia Santiago said her office will let the NBI 7 conduct its fact-finding investigation on the case.
Since the NBI 7 has started its investigation, Santiago said her office will not act until the NBI files a formal complaint before the anti-graft office against those liable for the offense.