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Ophthalmologist in PhilHealth controversy: I’m the victim of extortion

05:02 AM September 11, 2019

Thank you for the report on the testimony of my client, Dr. David Harold C. Gosiengfiao, in last Thursday’s joint Senate hearing. But please allow us to make important corrections regarding the headline for last Saturday morning’s story (“Doc claims bribing PhilHealth exec,” by Jovic Yee) which is false, misleading and untrue as published in print.

Gosiengfiao categorically denies committing or attempting any bribery. In fact, in the Senate hearing, he objected to the characterization of the crime committed upon him as “bribery,” because he clearly stated that he was the victim of extortion, which is different. Contrary to Yee’s report, Gosiengfiao never “admitted” paying off any Philippine Health Insurance Corp. official purportedly “to facilitate the release” of reimbursements owed him. In the vernacular: Hindi po siya nagbigay ng suhol, at sa halip ay kinikilan siya. My client said in the hearing that PhilHealth’s refusal to pay reimbursements for health services actually rendered, the threat of lawsuits and the imposition of heavy fines were extortion tools to victimize health care providers.

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Also, not a single charge, much less “several cases,” has ever been filed against Gosiengfiao for “his supposed anticompetitive behavior,” as erroneously alleged in Yee’s news report. On the contrary, he was the one who charged PhilHealth with anticompetition for the felony of Illegal Combination in Restraint of Trade, for the crime of Anticompetitive Agreements, and for the antitrust offense of Abuse of Market Dominance. He categorically denies engaging in anticompetitive behavior.

Kindly please correct the factual errors in the headline and the story as quickly as possible, and remove the libelous false imputation of bribery and anticompetition. Thank you for promptly taking down the online news article from your website and social media. Unfortunately, the uncorrected print story has gone into circulation, and to persist in error is to court legal action. Prompt rectification of equal prominence in print is also needed to vindicate Gosiengfiao’s rights.

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MARLON ANTHONY R. TONSON,
legal counsel of Dr. David Harold
C. Gosiengfiao

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TAGS: David Harold C. Gosiengfiao, extortion, Inquirer letters, Marlon Anthony R. Tonson, opthalmologist, Philhealth
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