No government official and private person will be exempted from the corruption investigation that will be conducted by the mega task force led by the Department of Justice, Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar assured.
The DoJ spokesperson made the assurance even as President Duterte has been vocal in his trust and confidence on her husband, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“The President has expressed full trust and confidence in Secretary Duque and Secretary Villar. However, this does not mean that they are exempt,” she said during an interview on CNN Philippines Wednesday.
“He also said in his memorandum that all government officials and even private individuals are part of the investigation and if it is found, after the investigation, that they are part of the corruption then, the President said, they should be charged and prosecuted,” she added.
Duterte issued a memorandum this week which ordered Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to expand the role of the DoJ-led task force that investigated alleged Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) corruption to include the entire government.
Guevarra said that the task force already has in its sights the investigation of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Undersecretary Villar assured that she will not participate in the investigation of the DPWH, the Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Land Registration Authority.
“I will not take part in investigating the DPWH given that there is a conflict of interest and I will just act as a spokesperson of the Department of Justice,” she said.
Guevarra formed the DoJ-led task force last Aug. 7 pursuant to the directive of Duterte to investigate anomalies at PhilHealth.
Aside from the DoJ, other members of the task force are the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), the National Prosecution Service (NPS), the DoJ Office of Cybercrime (OOC), and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).