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Go: Create task force to combat all forms of systemic corruption

Bong Go with President Duterte
Sen. Bong Go with President Duterte

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go said he will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the creation of an inter-agency task force that will employ a whole-of-government approach in the ongoing efforts of putting an end to deep-rooted, systemic corruption plaguing the whole bureaucracy.

This came after reports of continuing prevalent corruption in numerous agencies, including the Department of Public Works and Highways, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, PhilHealth and even in the agriculture sector through reported rice smuggling, among others.

“Exasperated na po si Pangulong Duterte dahil sa korapsyon sa gobyerno. Para rin po itong pandemya na sumisira sa ating normal na pamumuhay. It is important to remove the ‘bad eggs’ para hindi na makasira pa sa serbisyo ng gobyerno o makahawa pa sa mga ibang kawani ng gobyerno na nais lang magsilbi sa kapwa Pilipino,” he explained.

Go said the proposed task force may be modeled after the previous task force created to investigate PhilHealth. Its scope, however, should cover all government agencies and should be allowed to operate until President Duterte ends his term in 2022.

“Bilang isang Senador, ito ang rekomendasyon ko sa Pangulo — na mag-designate siya ng task force, katulad ng ginawa natin hinggil sa katiwalian sa PhilHealth,” Go said adding that this is in support of the President’s campaign against corruption.

Go narrated that he recently discussed the matter with the President who gave directives to intensify further the campaign against corruption and put an end to the continuing existence of anomalous practices plaguing the bureaucracy.

“Nagkausap kami ni Pangulo at sabi niya na tuluyan ang mga dapat tuluyan sa kanyang one year and eight months na natitirang panunungkulan,” Go shared, adding that they will not hesitate to crack down on all forms of corruption saying, “from smuggling in BOC, pastillas scheme sa Immigration, anomalya sa PhilHealth, pangongotong sa DPWH, lahat na!”

“Gusto ng Pangulo na mag-iwan ng pagbabago sa bansa lalo na sa kampanya laban sa korapsyon — pagbabagong ramdam dapat ng taumbayan. Gusto niya maalala ng tao na nilabanan niya lahat ng corruption sa gobyerno,” he added.

Go emphasized that President Duterte enjoys overwhelmingly high approval ratings because Filipinos see the sincerity and seriousness of his leadership to improve public service delivery by putting an end to corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.

In his previous pronouncements, President Duterte pointed out the presence of corruption in the DPWH, prompting DPWH Secretary Mark Villar to come up with an internal special task force that will look into these allegations.

Go lauded Villar’s decision, calling it a step towards the right direction, but recommended that a whole-of-government approach is necessary to solve this issue.

“Matagal na itong corruption sa public works. It has existed for around half a century already. Bata palang ako ay laganap na ‘yan. Kaya kailangan natin magtulungan kung gusto nating maitigil ang kalakarang ito,” he explained.

“Lahatin na natin ang pag-imbestiga at dapat totohanin ang pagfile ng kaso. Tuluyan talaga. Siguraduhin ma-audit lahat ng pondo, bawat piso ay hindi dapat masayang. Kapag napatunayang nagkasala, ikulong. Wala dapat tayong palalampasin,” he said.

Go said that there should be “no sacred cows” and every official must take responsibility in cleansing their ranks. He also recommended imposing preventive suspensions on suspected corrupt officials in order to preserve the integrity of the probe.##