THE Department of Justice is banking on the support of civilians, whom they intend to tap as graft informants and eventually state witnesses, as it goes against corruption in the entire government structure.
At the Laging Handa press briefing, Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipat-Villar said the public may provide information to the mega task force investigating corruption in the entire government. People who personally witnessed corrupt activities may also be called to testify in the event charges are filed against the officials involved, she added.
“Ang publiko po ay maaaring magbigay ng mga tips o mga complaints o kahit ano pa mang impormasyon tungkol sa mga alegasyon o aktibidades na ilegal at korap na mga aktibidades sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno,” she said at the Laging Handa briefing.
“Kung sila po ay merong personal knowledge, meaning sila po mismo ang nakakita, nakarinig ng mga corrupt na activities na nire-report nila, maaari po silang tawagin bilang witness kung sakali pong magfa-file ng kaso doon sa mga tao pong isinumbong nila,” Villar was quoted as saying.
The DOJ Undersecretary, who is also the wife of an agency on top of the list of the most corrupt government offices, said that potential whistleblowers who fear for their safety may seek protection from the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program.
“Kung natatakot naman po silang lumapit dahil natatakot sila baka yung mga sinumbong nila ay gaganti sa kanila at nanganganib sila para sa sarili nilang seguridad ay ang Department of Justice Witness Protection Program ay poprotektahan po sila. Kaya wag po silang mag-alala. Hindi po sila pababayaan ng Department of Justice,” she added.
The task force is set to wrap up the composition of its secretariat or operations center and to determine the process for accepting and assessing information. As soon as the secretariat is established, the task force will proceed to identify allegations to investigate in the government agencies that have been classified as priorities, she said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, whom President Rodrigo Duterte tasked to lead the massive investigation, earlier said the task force will prioritize the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Land Registration Authority.