DOJ task force ready to accept corruption complaints from public

Published November 5, 2020, 2:46 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The public can now start sending complaints and reports of corruption to the task force led by the Department of Justice (DOJ), said Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Villar said the task force’s operations center has tapped the already existing DOJ Action Center (DOJAC) to receive reports and complaints of corruption.

“They can send now to the DOJ Action Center,” DOJ spokesperson advised the public.

Villar said the DOJAC may be reached through its e-mail [email protected] as well as through hotline 85212930.

The DOJAC was first established at the DOJ on February 28, 1985 as Public Assistance Center then renamed as the Public Assistance and Complaints Unit on May 3, 1989. It became DOJAC pursuant to Department Order No. 204 issued on June, 22 1995.

“There will be a case evaluation committee who will do the screening of all information and complaints but the head of the evaluation committee has not been finally determined yet,” the spokesperson said. 

“The evaluation committee makes a recommendation of where the reports get to be referred to but the referral is approved and signed by the chairperson,” she added.

Villar disclosed that members of the task force’s operations center also met on Wednesday, Nov. 4, “to identify its functions, namely to act as the secretariat which receives information, complaints, and requests to investigate certain persons, acts or agencies.”

“If the information is already complete such that it would be enough basis to file a complaint, then it can be referred either to the prosecutor if it involves an official below salary grade 27 or to the Ombudsman if it is [salary grade] 27 and above,” the spokesperson said.

Guevarra formed last Aug. 7 Task Force PhilHealth pursuant to the directive of President Duterte to investigate the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) for corruption.

President Duterte then issued a memorandum dated Oct. 27 to Guevarra to expand the role of the DOJ-led Task Force PhilHealth to include investigating entire government for corrupt activities.

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).