Duterte offers up to P.1 million for âtipsâ vs corrupt
President Duterte talked of providing rewards after he resorted to naming in public another set of officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration who have been either suspended or dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman for engaging in corrupt activities while in the service.
KJ Rosales, File

Duterte offers up to P.1 million for ‘tips’ vs corrupt

Evelyn Macairan, Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Saying he would “deal with the devil,” President Duterte has offered P50,000 to P100,000 reward to anybody who can give his office information that would uncover the shenanigans of government officials involved in corruption.

Duterte talked of providing rewards after he resorted to naming in public another set of officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration who have been either suspended or dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman for engaging in corrupt activities while in the service.

The President warned the suspended officials that they would be dismissed outright if they are implicated in new issues of corruption within the agency.

He assured the informants that their names would be kept confidential to protect them from possible retaliation from persons implicated in corruption charges.

“If it involves big contracts, don’t reveal your name. Just whisper to me what they are up to. I’ll give you P100,000 and I will keep your identity secret until I reach my grave. I will not endanger you,” Duterte said during his taped address to the nation aired last Monday night.

The Chief Executive warned that he would not hesitate “killing” legally the persons involved in corrupt activities once they harass the whistleblowers.

“I will deal with the devil. Iyan ang gusto ko – bumaril ng tao na legal. Kaya kung inaano ka, tinatakot ka, paalamin mo ako (That’s what I want – to shoot people legally. If you are threatened, let me know), I’d be happy… to make you happy. OK?” he said.

The President said he would order the surveillance of the corrupt officials and have them caught red-handed to ensure their arrest and prosecution.

“’Pag na ano namin na totoo, bantayan lang namin (If we deem it true, we will just monitor them), then I will allow it to ripen to a crime. Pagkatapos, kami na ang bibira (Then we will take care of the rest),” he added.

‘Add spice’

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said Duterte’s offer to reward tipsters of corrupt activities in the government was intended to “add spice” to the campaign.

In the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum, Guevarra also said the President’s offer to informants on government officials involved in graft or planning to commit graft does not mean the Task Force against Corruption has not received any complaints or reports.

In fact, Guevarra has informed Duterte that members of the Task Force have met and are setting up their operation center that at the same time would serve as their complaints receiving section, filtering and evaluating committee.

They have also received a number of complaints, some involving officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“Pretty soon we would be rolling. The President only made that kind of announcement to put some spice to this all-out campaign to end corruption. He is not impatient; he just wants it to be an all-out campaign,” Guevarra said.

The Department of Justice chief admitted that when the Task Force was formed, they had thought of giving rewards to those who would provide leads in their investigations, but they knew it would be difficult since they do not have resources or budgets for rewards. Besides, offering money rewards might attract baseless complaints.

If it would be the President who would offer the reward, however, the funds could legally be sourced from the presidential funds or intelligence funds.

While the Task Force functions until the end of Duterte’s term in June 2022, Guevarra said they are planning to give a 30-day period to complete a fact-finding investigation for every corruption report.

Guevarra also added that he had discussed with the Office of the Ombudsman if it could revive assigning a resident ombudsman to some government agencies, particularly now that the government has intensified its campaign against corruption.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires reportedly said he would look into it and find ways to avoid fraternization of the resident ombudsman with officials and personnel of the agencies where they will be assigned.

CORRUPT PRESIDENT DUTERTE
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