Belgica to file countersuit vs DFP workers' group

Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica has vowed to file a countersuit against a group of workers who accused him of whitewashing a probe on the alleged smuggling inside the Duty Free Philippines (DFP).

PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Belgica has strongly denied allegations that he asked for money from the Duty Free employees while conducting the probe, saying this was "a purely fabricated story."

Several Duty Free employees recently filed administrative and criminal complaints against Belgica before the Office of the Ombudsman. They want Belgica to be held liable for alleged violations of the anti-graft law, grave misconduct, and negligence.

The complainants had earlier sought Belgica's help to look into the alleged smuggling operations using the Duty Free shop but expressed dismay that his recommendation to the Office of the President on the filing of charges against certain officials had allegedly been watered down.

"Nakakalungkot na they have to go this low para lang sirain ang pangalan ko (It is sad that they have to go this low to destroy my name)," Belgica said.

"To tell you the truth, we've been kind, patient, and gracious to them. But by besmirching my reputation that I dearly value and have protected with my life, I will be filing counter charges and pray hard that they all go to jail," he added.

Belica explained that he extended assistance to the Duty Free employees beyond the call of duty. "Sa lahat ng government officials na nilapitan nila, ako lang ang tumulong sa kanila (Of all the government officials they approached, I was the only one who helped them)," he said.

Belgica alleged that the complainants were being backed by the same group that sued him to undermine the anti-corruption initiatives. He said it was unfortunate that they are being used by "leftist and terrorist groups" plotting against the Duterte administration.

The PACC official has vowed to make sure the group will be "exposed and dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.”