A government official implicated in corruption cannot escape liability even if the public servant resigns from the post, President Duterte warned on Tuesday.
The President said erring public servants could still face criminal and administrative complaints, insisting that their resignation won’t save their necks.
Duterte made the pronouncement after he noticed that several Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) officials resigned amid a corruption probe on the state corporation.
“Let me remind everybody in this government na your resignation will not save your neck. Alam mo bakit? You are not allowed to resign if there is a pending case against you,” he said during his taped address Tuesday.
“Mag-resign ka man hindi ka mag-report (Even if you resign or do not report for work) but then you would be summoned or subpoenaed because you are already out of government but because for all intents and purposes you are still a part of government. You are not allowed to resign to escape liability,” he added.
According to the President, any government official involved in corruption could be suspended, prosecuted, and even land in jail.
Duterte had earlier ordered a government-wide investigation on corruption allegations after lamenting that corruption continued to plague the bureaucracy.
The Department of Justice has been assigned to carry out the probe and prosecute those involved in corruption.
Once the DOJ makes a recommendation, Duterte recognizes that it will be up to the Office of the Ombudsman to pursue the complaint.
“And if the Ombudsman will say that it’s a well-studied complaint then obviously you are going to jail,” he said.
“Again, do not try to resign to escape culpability. That is not accepted dito sa gobyerno. You cannot resign when you have a case pending,” Duterte said.