PACC chair Dante Jimenez dies due to aortic aneurysm

PACC chair Dante Jimenez dies due to aortic aneurysm
File photo shows Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chair Dante Jimenez.
The STAR / Edd Gumban, File

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 2:30 p.m.) — Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chair Dante Jimenez has passed away due to an aortic aneurysm, his family confirmed. He was 68.

Jimenez’s family said in a statement read by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) president Arsenio “Boy” Evangelista over radio DZBB that the PACC chair died at 9:43 p.m. on Friday after he was rushed to Chinese General Hospital where health workers tried to revive him.

“We ask for your prayers for the eternal repose of a man who devoted his life in the crusade against crime and corruption and good governance,” Jimenez’s family said.

Malacañang condoled with Jimenez’s family, loved ones and colleagues as it remembered him as an advocate against criminality and corruption.

Jimenez, who was VACC’s founding chairman, was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to chair the PACC in January 2018.

The agency has the power to investigate administrative cases against all presidential appointees in the executive branch of government and any of its agencies and instrumentalities.

In March 2020, he was appointed as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs alongside Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino nearly three months after Vice President Leni Robredo was booted out of the same position.

In a briefing with Malacañang reporters, Jimenez signed his acceptance letter for the position with his own blood.

“I sign this acceptance with my own blood, to represent the thousands of victims of illegal drugs and as a manifestation of my commitment to the unrelenting war against the social menace that must be destroyed by all means,” Jimenez said on March 4, 2020.

The VACC was formed in 1990 by Jimenez, whose brother's death prompted him to organize with other victims of heinous crimes.

The group has enjoyed close relations with Duterte, who famously vowed on the campaign trail to end criminality, corruption and drugs in three to six months. 

But the group has been called a “mercenary” by its recent targets, including opposition Senator Leila de Lima whose incarceration is partly due to the drug cases filed by the VACC. — Xave Gregorio

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