Palace glad DoJ starting probe on massive gov’t corruption

Published October 29, 2020, 3:52 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang is pleased that the Department of Justice  will start the government-wide investigation for agencies notorious for alleged corruption.

According to presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the Palace supports the focus on the DoJ investigation, adding that any official proven involved in anomalies must be held accountable.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.

“Fully supported natin ‘yan. Siguro naman ang rason ay obvious. Traditionally talagang malawakan at systemic ang corruption sa mga ahensiyang ito,” Roque said during a televised press briefing Thursday.

“Nagagalak naman kami na pinili ni Secretary Menardo Guevarra itong mga  pinaka-notorious sa corruption para simulan ang imbestigasyon ng expanded task force on corruption,” he said.

The DoJ recently committed to prioritize the investigation on five agencies for alleged corruption following President Duterte’s order for a massive probe. The State offices covered by the DoJ-led task force are the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Land Registration Authority, and the Department of Public Works and Highways. 

The President had earlier directed the DoJ to conduct allegations of corruption in the entire government and prosecute those involved. Duterte, frustrated with the rampant corruption in the bureaucracy, authorized the Justice department, which initially formed a task force to probe PhilHealth anomalies, to form more panels to conduct the massive probe as necessary.

Even though the President has initially cleared Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar of corruption involvement, Roque explained that the Chief Executive was merely looking for evidence of wrongdoing. 

Roque assured the public anew that no one will be spared in the government-wide probe. “Kahit gaano kalapit sa kanya, kahit gaano ang pagpuri niya sa nakaraan, kung mayroon ebidensya ng katiwalian ay parurusahan ng Presidente,” he said.

Roque cited the case of former PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales who is facing complaints over the alleged anomalies in the State health insurance firm. He said the President initially voiced his trust and confidence in Morales but when the DoJ-led task force recommended charges against him, Duterte did not intervene and instead endorsed the filing of complaints.