Palace prefers independent body to probe DPWH anomalies
In this March 5, 2020 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte chats with Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar while leading the inspection of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link Circumferential Road 3 (C3)-R10 Section in Caloocan City.
Presidential Photo/Simeon Celi Jr.

Palace prefers independent body to probe DPWH anomalies

Alexis Romero ( - October 21, 2020 - 3:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang prefers an independent body to probe the alleged anomalies in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and wants the agency to have a mechanism that will promote accountability among its officials. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said while the DPWH has formed a task force that would look into the supposed corruption within its ranks, it is "not inconceivable" for President Rodrigo Duterte to create another investigating panel. 

"I think that (creation of a task force) is a good beginning, but as you observe, many people doubt if it can succeed because it’s the same people investigating one another, so we would prefer an independent body. But for now, let’s face it, in any organization we need to have (a) mechanism for internal accountability. Police have it, and I don’t see any reason why the DPWH shouldn’t have one," Roque told CNN Philippines Wednesday.

"That is why we are saying it’s a step towards the right direction. But this initial step is without prejudice to whatever the president may order in the near future. It’s not inconceivable that another task force of the DPWH may be formed by the President," he added. 

Roque noted that Duterte had also created a task force to investigate the alleged fraudulent activities in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth). 

"But it really all depends on how this new task force will operate, if it is credible, if it can hold individuals accountable for their acts. Because the president has vowed to the nation that he will devote his remaining two years term in office in cleansing the ranks of government," the Palace spokesman said. 

Roque expressed confidence that DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, whom he described as a "management person," has the resources and capability to make the task force work. 

Earlier this month, Duterte said the corruption in the DPWH is "grave" but absolved Villar from irregularities. Duterte, who vowed not to tolerate even a whiff of corruption under his watch, has said Villar is already rich so he does not need to steal from government funds. 

Duterte's remarks about the supposed irregularities in DPWH came as senators are questioning the alleged billions in lump sum appropriations in the agency's proposed budget for next year.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with