Usec. Villar express confidence task force would leave dent vs corruption before end of Duterte’s term

Published October 29, 2020, 4:56 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The task force led by the Department of Justice (DOJ) has enough time and manpower to be able to leave a dent against corruption in government, assured Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar
(Photo courtesy of DOJ Usec. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar Facebook page via PNA / MANILA BULLETIN)

The DOJ spokesperson pointed this out considering that President Duterte gave the task force until the end of his term in June 2022 to conduct a government-wide corruption investigation.

“One and a half year may seem too little to completely eradicate corruption. I think its a substantial time in order to create a dent in the problem of corruption,” she said during an interview on ANC.

Also, Villar said that the DOJ is not alone in the task of investigating corruption in government.

“This is an inter-agency task force. So it’s not just the manpower of the DOJ that we will be utilizing but also all of the other agencies that are currently involved and will be involved in the future,” she pointed out.

Aside from the DOJ, the task force consists of 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’s Office of Cybercrime (OOC), and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

The DOJ spokesperson reminded that the task force had been initially mandated to investigate corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“In a matter of two months, complaints were already filed with the Office of the Ombudsman,” she cited.

Meanwhile, she also reiterated that no government official will be exempted from the investigation even though the President expressed his continued trust to Health Sec. Francisco Duque III and her husband, Public Works Sec. Mark Villar.

“Duterte also said in his memorandum that all government officials and employees are included in the investigation, which means that no one is exempt,” the undersecretary said.