Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra hopes that the entire bureaucracy would cooperate with his agency which has been tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to take the lead in the administration’s crackdown against corruption.
Guevarra admitted on Tuesday that this is so far the “toughest” order he has received from the President.
“I will need all the support and cooperation of the entire government machinery to achieve this singular objective of substantially reducing corruption in government. Considering the breadth of this anti-corruption campaign, I will immediately focus on the organizational set-up and mechanism that will carry out the President’s directive till the end of his term, as well as the order of priorities,” he said in a media statement.
Guevarra also urged government workers and the people they deal with to come forward and provide necessary information to uncover corrupt activities and identify the perpetrators.
“The new and expanded anti-corruption task force will take it from there,” Guevarra said.
Guevarra said he is “thinking of creating several strike forces that will simultaneously attack various corruption-prone agencies”.
“But as I have said, the first order of the day is to organize the main task force and determine the overall strategy,” he added.
Meanwhile, Justice Undersecretary and spokesperson Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said she would not take part in any ongoing investigation of the agency into corruption allegations.
“No instructions from SOJ (Secretary of Justice) yet (to be part of an investigation). I have also not been involved in any team organized to investigate corruption in the past (such as PhilHealth). Matters assigned to me are usually a review of contracts and other matters assigned to the legal staff. But even in the cases involving the review of contracts, I will not participate if there is any conflict of interest,” said Aglipay-Villar, wife of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
In a pre-recorded address on Tuesday morning, Duterte ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to extend its probe on corruption to cover the entire bureaucracy.
He said the DOJ may also prosecute and file appropriate charges against those involved in anomalies investigated whether against the government or private person as may be warranted by evidence gathered.
“The power and authority of the DOJ under existing laws and previous directives to investigate the commission of crimes and prosecute violators shall not in any way be diminished by this directive,” he added.
Duterte said the directive would be in effect until June 30, 2022, unless sooner lifted or revoked. (
Source: Philippines News Agency