Hospital cashier to be vindicated in checks loss, lawyer claims

08/05/2010 - LAWYERS for both parties involved in the loss of nearly P240,000 worth of Philippine Health Corp. (PhilHealth) checks attended a closed-door, pre-hearing conference on the case yesterday afternoon.
The meeting set the ground rules for three days of hearings on the case on Sept. 1, 8 and 15.

But this early, the lawyer for Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) billing officer Ma. Lourdes Archua is confident that her client will be cleared of administrative and criminal charges.

“I am very confident. We have a very strong case. I'm confident. There might (be a chance that the 30-day preventive suspension will be lifted) because there were admissions made by (hospital chief) Dr. Myrna Go, with regards to the transaction,” Dalawampu said.

She said Go admitted that it was City Treasurer's Office employee Mary Grace Lopez who was assigned to the hospital's billing section in order “to take charge of all PhilHealth transactions.”

Dalawampu also said Lopez received directly the PhilHealth checks from the administrative receiving clerk bypassing Archua.

Lopez also prepared the transmittal to be signed by Dr. Go, and forwarded the checks to the cashier of the City Treasurer's Office.

But Dominic Denio, spokesperson of the City Hall committee investigating the case, said they cannot divulge the merits of the pre-hearing conference because three more hearings will be held in September.

“There is no such thing. It was just stipulations to determine the issues. As to the merit, we can't tell yet, because there will still be hearings,” Denio said.

He said both parties agreed to have trial-type proceedings on the case.

Denio said Go will present all the evidences she have during the hearings.

Lawyer Carlo Gimena, who presided over the pre-hearing conference, said they were unable to invite Lopez since she didn't face any charges.

He said the committee wasn't authorized by Mayor Michael Rama to file charges against Lopez.

Archua also clarified that she has no plans yet of filing counter-charges against those behind her suspension.
(Cebu Daily News)

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