Former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez on Monday included Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and seven other ex-officials of the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (Owwa) in the plunder case he had filed against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In his amended complaint with the Department of Justice (DoJ), Chavez said Baldoz and the other labor officials were remiss in their duty to protect the funds sourced from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Chavez claimed the officials illegally diverted some P550 million in Owwa funds to finance PhilHealth’s distribution of health cards. The program was purportedly designed to boost Arroyo’s presidential candidacy in 2004.
Speaking with reporters, Chavez said Owwa funds were “private, special trust funds” which should not “co-mingle” with public funds from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
“There is nothing in the Constitution or any statute that authorizes even the President or the board of trustees of Owwa to transfer this money belonging to the OFWs to Philhealth,” he said.
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