Whistleblowers in PhilHealth scam arrested

QUEZON CITY, Philippines (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) – The two whistleblowers who exposed the “ghost dialysis” scam that had defrauded Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) were arrested on Thursday night, shortly after losing immunity from suit under the government’s Witness Protection Programme (WPP), according to their lawyer.

Lawyer Harry Roque on Friday said his clients—Liezel Santos de Leon and Edwin Roberto—were arrested and detained in connection with the estafa charges earlier filed against them and Bryan Christopher Sy, their former employer at the Quezon City-based WellMed Dialysis Centre.

The cases were filed in August in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) by the National Bureau of Investigation. “They were arrested since their case before the (Quezon City) Regional Trial Court was dismissed and refiled before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC), where the cases filed are considered not serious crimes,” the lawyer said.

De Leon and Roberto were served warrants issued by the Quezon City MTC and were brought to Station 4 of the Quezon City Police District in Novaliches, their lawyer said.

“What’s happening is meant to silence them,” Roque said, adding he was not informed that his clients had been released from the WPP.

In a three-part investigative report by the Inquirer published in June, the two former WellMed employees exposed how the dialysis centre allegedly scammed PhilHealth of millions of pesos by filing claims for dialysis patients who were already deceased.