If Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade would have his way, he would instantly suspend agency personnel caught red-handed in activities of corruption.
But as a government agency, the DOTr still has to follow due process, Tugade said on Wednesday, April 28.
That same day, the Cabinet official signed the reaffirmation of integrity, pledge of cooperation and oath of honesty with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).
“Alam n’yo minsan may demerit points ang due process. Meron kaming experiences at hindi po kakaunti yun, na kung saan meron ka nang video na tumanggap, meron ka nang confession na tumanggap, meron nang nahuli, e kailangan i-due process pa ‘yan (You know, sometimes due process has its demerit points. We have a lot of experiences where we already have a video of the corruption, there is already a confession of corruption, and an actual arrest was already made, and yet due process must still be observed),” Tugade said in his speech.
“Kung ako masusunod diyan ipe-preventive suspension ko na kaagad. Klaro naman but then kailangan sumunod sa proseso at yun po naman ang aming ginagawa (If I had it my way, I will instantly order preventive suspension because the violation is clear, but then we have to follow the process and that’s what we are doing),” he noted.
Over 145 erring officers have already been dismissed from DOTr, Tugade said. Twenty were suspended, while one case was handed over to the PACC.
The secretary said the about 250 personnel have been sanctioned due to corrupt practices, including those who stepped down from office.
According to Undersecretary Reinier Yebra, the majority of complaints they receive are cases of bribery, extortion, dishonesty, misconduct, and other similar offenses.
The signing of the pledge between Tugade and PACC Chairman Greco Belgica aims to further weed out corruption in the DOTr by establishing a mechanism against complaints of corruption involving agency personnel.
The PACC has sought similar pledges from other departments under the Duterte administration.