DOJ-led task force to probe corruption in 'entire government'


MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said the task force ordered to probe allegations of corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation will also investigate other government agencies.

In a speech aired Tuesday morning, Duterte said he has directed the Department of Justice to look into allegations of corruption in all agencies of the government.

“I hope all government workers, officials are listening. This is a memorandum from me to Secretary Menardo Guevarra. The subject is investigate all allegations of corruption in the entire government. All,” the president said.

Duterte said the DOJ may create as many panels as it deems necessary to investigate government offices and shall prosecute and file charges against officials and employees involved in wrongdoings.

The chief executive’s directive will remain in effect until June 30, 2022, or when he steps down from office.

Duterte, who ran on an anti-corruption platform, said that corruption in the government has not diminished but is getting stronger.

Aside from the task force that the president announced, his office also has the Presidential Anti-Corruption, which was created in 2017.

The Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit are independent offices created by the Constitution as a check on government corruption.

Focus on DPWH

Earlier in the speech, he said the task force he has created will focus on the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“This time we will look into every department but upon my request, focus on corruption in the DPWH,” he said.

He again criticized the alleged corruption in DPWH but said he does not blame Secretary Mark Villar for the anomalies within his agency.

“I have nothing against Secretary Villar. [He’s] one of the hardworking (people in government) and he has many accomplishments. But you know accomplishments alone, to me, should not suffice,” Duterte said.

“Secretary Villar, it’s not his job to be running after crooks but it behooves upon me to see to it that corruption stops. We’re expanding investigation to [Department of] Agriculture with special focus on DPWH,” he added.

Last week, Villar created a task force composed of DPWH that would look into alleged corruption allegations in the agency. — Gaea Katreena Cabico 

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