DOJ-led Task Force vs Corruption files raps before Ombudsman, prosecution
This file photo shows the Department of Justice office.
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DOJ-led Task Force vs Corruption files raps before Ombudsman, prosecution

(Philstar.com) - April 8, 2021 - 12:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice-led Task Force against Corruption has filed two complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman and another one to the National Prosecution Service stemming from reports they received from the public since last year.

“Two complaints filed with the TFAC have already been found to be sufficient in form and substance, and were endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman,” Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar told reporters on Thursday.

Aglipay-Villar said the two complaints filed before the Ombudsman involve a congressman and the Department of Public Works and Highway on “favoring of certain contractors” and a local government office over “irregularities in the purchase of land by a municipality."

She added that the Complaints Evaluation Committee (CEC) has referred a complaint against DPWH district engineering office officials and employees with salary grades below 27.

The DOJ official has yet to identify the respondents in the complaints. The department also has yet to receive updates from the Ombudsman on actions taken on their complaint.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the creation of an inter-agency task force, led by the DOJ, to investigate corruption in the “entire government.” While the DOJ started receiving tips on allegations of anomaly shortly after Duterte’s directive, it was not until December that the TFAC set up an operations center to receive complaints and tips that they will look into. Complaints or tips would still have to be evaluated.

To date, 274 complaints have been raised to the task force, but “since many of the complaints received have the same subject which has been previously as those which have been previously received by the TFAC, the accurate number of complaints actually filed with the TFAC is 180,” Aglipay-Villar added.

Some of the complaints are under evaluation of the CEC, which will later be referred to the assistant secretaries, to the undersecretaries to the justice secretary for further review or further action.

So far, the TFAC has referred 69 complaints to other members of the panel and appropriate agencies for comment or action. “Some cases require further collection of information in the concerned government agencies,” she added.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra explained that some of "major complaints are quietly being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation for case build-up." The DOJ chief said developments on these probes will be given at a later time.

The task force has earlier identified five agencies that they will prioritize in their probe. These are the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Department of Public Works and Highways, Land Registration Authority, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs. — Kristine Joy Patag

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