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First five on DOJ graft probe list

Menardo Guevarra
Menardo Guevarra

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday identified five government agencies which the Department of Justice will look into first to rid the bureaucracy of corruption.

These government agencies are:

1. Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)

2. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)

3. Bureau of Customs (BOC)

4. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

5. Land Registration Authority (LRA)

The Bureau of Immigration was not mentioned by Guevarra since it is already under investigation in connection with the so-called pastillas scheme.

“Siguro uunahin muna namin yung mga ahensya sa national level na talagang medyo prone sa corruption. Alam naman natin kung ano ang mga ahensya na ito na talagang madalas na nagkakaroon ng mga corruption activities,” Guevarra said over radio station DZBB.

“Yung PhilHealth tutuloy pa namin yan dahil hindi pa talaga kami tapos diyan. Tapos nasa target rin namin dahil na-mention rin naman ng Presidente recently ang DPWH. “

“Yung usual suspects eto talagang lagi naman nababalitaan natin ito ang Bureau of Customs at ang BIR — mga ahensya na nasa ilalim mismo ng Department of Justice — yung LRA, Land Registration Authority, “ Guevarra continued.

President Duterte last Tuesday directed the DOJ to investigate corruption in the entire government.

“I hope that all government workers, officials are listening. This is a memorandum from me to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. The subject is investigating corruption allegations in the entire government,” he said in a taped speech aired Tuesday.

“I will concentrate the last remaining years of my term fighting corruption kasi hanggang ngayon, hindi humihina, lumalakas pa lalo. Para na tuloy naging inutil ang mga opisyal ng bayan, na wala talagang magawa with the onslaught of corruption,” the President vowed.

Core group

The core group that investigated massive corruption inside the state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corporation shall be the same group that will go after erring and corrupt government officials and employees in other agencies as ordered by President Duterte.

This was learned from a press statement issued by the DOJ, which announced that Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento, and National Bureau of Investigation Officer-In-Charge Eric Distor already met on Tuesday night to initially discuss the organization of task force to probe corruption in the entire bureaucracy.

The core group, headed by the DOJ, shall be composed by the 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 Core Group shall immediately be convened and all matters discussed during the 27 October 2020 meeting shall be approved by the Core Group.

The Task Force shall also invite the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Office of the Ombudsman to work together with the Task Force, with due consideration for their independence as constitutional bodies.”

Publication Source :    People's Journal
Hector Lawas
Court reporter for more than 20 years