Philhealth XI employees hit their VP for harassment and corruption

Feb. 20, 2013

Lawyer Jocelyn Puzon, spokesperson of the three employees and one of the victims of the harassment of Denis Adre said the latter abused his power by trying to fire them to cover up his alleged graft practices in the insurance company.

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Employees of the government insurance Philhealth Region XI requested the Davao City Council for help on alleged harassment they experienced from Denis Adre, the Regional Vice President of the said office.

Lawyer Jocelyn Puzon, in a privilege speech before Tuesday’s session, spoke in behalf of the three employees citing that Adre abused his power by trying to fire them to cover up his alleged graft practices in the insurance company.

Puzon said the three employees namely Bernadeth Panag, Florence Manaves, Lady Dee Go, and herself were forced to raise a complaint against Adre because they had enough.

The three employees complained that Adre gave them an unfair rating of flat 1 even if they had diligently come to work, as well as put them arbitrarily to assignments in other regions.

Puzon said such constitute a case of “constructive dismissal.”

She said Adre had accused the three employees earlier of leaking the story to media, and humiliated them in front of co-workers during a flag ceremony.

Puzon, herself had worked at the Philhealth as lawyer, but had resigned from her post after having a similar experience.

“We would have opted to remain silent and bear the harassment, ostracism, ridicule and humiliation, and our estrangement with our co-employees.  But we no longer have a choice.  Mr. Adre is hell-bent on persecuting us and punishing us in every way possible, from simple office rules up to open violations of our rights,” Puzon said.

Puzon said they believe that Adre is picking on them, after they raised complaints against the latter for alleged abuses.

The employees had accused Adre of hiring undergraduates in sensitive positions giving them high salaries, falsifying receipts in a fun run activity, and graft and corruption in the bids and awards operation of the regional Philhealth office, among others.

They also claimed that Adre was violating the election code and committing abuse of authority when he allegedly ordered several employees to leave their tasks at the office and act as secretariat to an election campaign event at a posh hotel in Davao last January 16.

Puzon said several employees had filed similar petitions against Adre since 2001 but only ended up resigning from their jobs.

Puzon also cited that Adre has been forcing employees at the Philhealth to sign petitions against the three.  Those who refrained from signing were allegedly asked by Adre to submit an explanation to him.

“These employees are mostly bread winners, with kids on school-age, and with family totally dependent on them.  Sadly, they have no choice but to sign (the petition), remain silent, or bear the harsh authority of Mr. Adre,” Puzon said.

Davao Today tried to get the side of Adre but he cannot be reached for comment.  (Irene V. Dagudog/

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