Court orders release of WellMed owner after posting bail

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 15) — A Manila judge has ordered the release of the owner of a dialysis center at the center of financial fraud accusations after the business person posted a ₱72,000 bail.

WellMed co-owner Bryan Christopher Sy is facing charges of estafa and falsification of private documents over fraudulent insurance claims. He was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation on June 10.

The release order issued on Saturday was signed by Judge Jerome U. Jimenez of the Branch 6 of the Metropolitan Trial Court in Manila.

However, Atty. Rowell Ilagan, Sy’s lawyer, claims that despite the order, the NBI refuses to release his client.

He said the NBI's reason for not releasing Sy was that there were no directors to formalize and sign the release.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told CNN Philippines Sy should be released, even if there are other cases still to be filed against the accused.

The cases against Sy are bailable, Guevarra said.

On Friday, Guevarra said there was nothing to stop Sy from applying for bail anytime between the issuance of the resolution finding probable cause and the filing of the information in court.

Also on Friday, Sy's camp asked the Department of Justice to let him go, saying that authorities have not filed any formal charges against him despite being detained for days.

WellMed was reported to have filed bogus claims from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. using the names of dead dialysis patients. The supposed scheme involved WellMed filing for reimbursements for all allowable kidney dialysis sessions for its clients, even if patients did not avail of them entirely.

Sy went to the NBI headquarters on Monday to take part in the investigation, but was promptly arrested even without a warrant as authorities believe WellMed was committing a continuing crime.