By Ellson Quismorio
ACT-CIS Party-List Rep. Niña Taduran echoed on Thursday President Duterte’s warning against government officials who dare engage in corrupt practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This, as the journalist-turned-lawmaker claimed that she had a whiff of corruption from a certain government bureau official, the identity of whom she’s keeping close to her chest for now.
“Let me remind our government officials to always observe the highest level of honesty and decency in the performance of their duty. No form of corruption is too small,” Taduran, an Assistant Majority Leader, said in a statement.
According to her, a deputy commissioner from the bureau has allegedly been “accepting bribes in exchange for favors” in their office.
It was late March when President Duterte threatened via televised address the incarceration of government officials who will steal from Filipinos in the context of the distribution of aid amid the public health crisis.
“Don’t cheat, steal, and keep food [that is intended for the public] and not distribute it to some. Because you know, people sometimes think that they own whatever they receive from the government. This is not yours. Neither is it mine…for those who are really absconding with the money, I will detain you. Maybe I will release you after COVID ends,” the Chief Executive said.
At that time, the entirety of Luzon was already under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), meaning low-income earners like laborers and public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers didn’t have access to their livelihood.
As for the erring agency official, Taduran said she would immediately file a House Resolution calling for an inquiry on his alleged corrupt practices, “so that appropriate action will be done.”
“I am not inclined to reveal his identity at the moment but let this serve as a stern warning to him that his actions will not be tolerated and I will see to it that his corrupt practices will be dealt with seriously,” she said.
“Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit sa gitna ng kinakaharap na krisis ng bansa ay may nakakagawa pa ng ganitong krimen (I can’t understand how someone can still commit such crime in the middle of a national crisis),” she further said, adding that ACT-CIS has been gathering evidence against the person.
The House of Representatives is set to resume its sessions on May 4.