Government crooks named

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte opened his most recent public address by reading names of suspected crooks in the government.

Except for Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation regional vice-president Alejandro Rivera, the rest are holding lower-ranked positions in the government. Noticeably missing are names of public officials in the top five government agencies that Duterte himself hinted as breeding ground for graft.

“Lahat sila ito pare-pareho ‘yan, dismissed from service with accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification for reemployment in the government service. Ibig sabihin they can no longer seek employment sa gobyerno,” the President said.

As this developed, the Department of Justice-led Task Force Against Corruption (TFAC) said that they will start investigating corruption in other government agencies, aside from anomalies at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday vowed to focus on other allegations of corruption in other government agencies.

“We’re now shifting our focus to other agencies where corruption is likewise prevalent. We want to convey the message to the people that the anti-corruption campaign of the government is a continuing effort. While our system of justice grinds rather slowly, we can assure that it works and that justice will eventually be served,” Guevarra said.

The DOJ’s TFAC earlier claimed to have received close to 100 complaints of corruption and anomalies in government,

Aside from the DOJ, the TFAC is composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), National Prosecution Service (NPS), and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

The task force also invited the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Office of the Ombudsman, but with due consideration of their independence as constitutional bodies.

The task force previously identified the government agencies it would prioritize in its corruption probe, namely the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Land Registration Authority (LRA).

Interestingly, both BI and LRA are agencies under the DOJ.

As for its efforts to rid PhilHealth of corruption, the task force continues to file complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against those who allegedly committed graft and corruption. Among those who were filed with cases before the Office of the Ombudsman was former PhilHealth president and chief executive officer (PCEO) Ricardo Morales.

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