By Argyll Geducos
The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said it respects the decision of President Duterte to fire Manuelito Luna from his post over his remarks against Vice President Leni Robredo.
PACC chair Dante Jimenez made the statement after Duterte fired Commissioner Manuelito Luna for calling on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Robredo for supposedly competing with the government in its efforts to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In his statement, Jimenez said Luna’s remarks caused his appointment in the PACC to be withdrawn.
“The President did not take the public statement lightly and reiterated that in this time of national health emergency every effort to help the Filipino people from whoever is welcome and recognized by the national government,” he said.
“The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission acknowledges and respects the decision of the President, and has, in fact, taken appropriate actions in response to the potentially serious implications of Commissioner Luna’s statements, which are purely his own personal views, and not a representation of the Commission’s official position,” he added.
He likewise said that prior to President Duterte’s announcement, the PACC had already relieved Luna of his designation as the Commission’s co-spokesman.
Jimenez said the PACC acknowledges that everyone in the Commission serves at the pleasure of the President.
“The Commission recognizes that the President is the sole appointing authority of the PACC officials and employees, and inherent in said power is the authority to fire government officials under the same office,” he said.
Everyone is welcome
According to Jimenez, the Commission welcomes the fullest cooperation and support of all concerned agencies, private individuals and organizations in ensuring the public’s welfare during the present situation.
“The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission enjoins the cooperation of everyone in helping us protect the people’s money and encourages the public to be vigilant in observing, monitoring and reporting abuses in the handling of relief and financial assistance,” he said.
“All concerns/complaints related thereto shall be given special attention by the Commission,” he added.
Jimenez likewise assured the public that the PACC will continue with its mandate and participate in the government’s efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Commission is determined and ready to support the President’s call against corruption and ensuring that public funds allotted for the Bayanihan Heal as One Act shall be used for the utmost benefit of the Filipino people,” he said.
“As the mandated anti-corruption arm of the Office of the President, the Commission will continue to monitor and prosecute administratively those who will abuse their power and commit graft in this time of national emergency,” he added.