THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 is investigating what could be another modus operandi involving government-issued checks in Cebu City.

NBI 7 supervising agent Rennan Augustus Oliva said a woman sought their assistance after she discovered that the persons who endorsed several checks to her used Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) IDs.

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Josephine Utera of Archbishop Reyes St., Cebu City, who is engaged in rediscounting checks, turned over to NBI 7 the five checks released by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) in Cebu City, totaling P85,000.

Of the five checks, Utera cashed four checks amounting to P65,000 for several persons.

Oliva told Sun. Star Cebu that Utera became suspicious about the authenticity of the checks when she found out their endorsers carried Philhealth IDs.

NBI 7 Executive Officer Ernesto Macabare said Utera asked Sonia Ramos, the last person who tried to have her check rediscounted, to wait while she verified the check worth P20,000.

When Utera returned, Ramos was gone, said Macabare.

Utera also turned over to NBI 7 Ramos’s Social Security System ID and the check.

Oliva, a lawyer, said their investigation will focus on authenticating the checks issued by PVAO and Ramos’s identity.

However, Oliva said it is too early to conclude the case of Utera is similar to the missing 28 Philhealth checks.

Oliva said the NBI 7 summoned Lourdes Archua, the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) billing officer, who allegedly released 28 Philhealth checks to a Concha Ruth Adlawan, who posed as a Philhealth trainee and who claimed the checks.

Archua will appear before the NBI 7 on Monday to give a statement to investigators.

The NBI 7 sent nine of the 28 Philhealth checks to its central office’s Questioned Documents Examination Department, to determine the authenticity of the signatures of Dr. Myrna Go, CCMC chief.

Adlawan allegedly used an authorization letter from Go to claim the checks from Archua.

However, Go denied authorizing Adlawan to claim 28 Philhealth checks from CCMC. She said her signatures on the authorization letter and on the Philhealth checks were forged.

Macabare, a lawyer, said the NBI 7 is still tracking down Adlawan, who also posed as Go’s secretary and an employee of Nestle Philippines Inc. (GMD)