ACT CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Yap took up the cudgels for members of the House of Representatives as he chided Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) head Greco Belgica for accusing solons of corruption without identifying any of them.
Yap, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriiations, said what Belgica has done was unfair to the House of Representatives as a respected institution of government.
In a virtual press conference on Thursday, Yap told Belgica to name names and produce evidence against those he is accusing or shut up.
Rep. Yap said as a government official, Belgica should show respect to the Lower House and its members instead of floating accusations that he has yet to back up with proof.
Belgica, Yap said, was unfair in airing the accusation in media that certain congressmen are involved in corrupt activities in the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“Pero kapag iyong institusyon ay titirahin niya without proper evidence, without naming names, e, hindi po iyon nakakatawa kasi iyong institusyon mas matanda pa po sa atin ito. (But if you assail the institution without showing evidence, without naming names, that is not amusing because the institution is far older than us),” said the partylist solon.
Yap was the second solon to caution Belgica against going to the media to make accusations even before he could file charges or investigate the allegations hurled against solons.
Earlier, Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor said he supports the PACC’s bid to cleanse government of misfits but warned that it would also be equally unfair to throw accusations without identifying the involved personalities.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has vowed to allow an independent and free investigation of House members who may be implicated in graft, saying that he fully supports President Duterte’s order to go after grafters in government.
“While we are saddened that some congressmen and the institution have been dragged into this controversy, we welcome such probe by any government agency, as an investigation by the House would be self-serving and would only create a cloud of doubt,” explained Velasco.
The newly installed House leader stressed that the chamber acknowledges Duterte’s objective and will be behind him in cleansing all institutions of the government.
“We fully understand that the President is doing this out of his frustration over chronic corruption in government, and the House leadership is one with him in his desire to rid the bureaucracy of corrupt officials and employees in the remainder of his term,” said Velasco in a statement.