THE chairman of the House committee on public accounts yesterday dared Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica to identify the lawmakers he claimed were involved in the alleged corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
For the sake of fairness, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, panel chairman, underscored the importance for Belgica to name names.
While he supports the anti-corruption drive of the Duterte administration, Defensor said Belgica should be prudent in issuing a statement, especially if this would affect the integrity of congressmen and the House of Representatives as an institution.
“If indeed there is corruption being done and congressmen are involved. They should really point to whoever is involved. Ituro na nila para magkaroon ng malalim na pag-aaral, napakahirap naman na parang kung ikaw ay isang kongresista at may pamilya ka, lahat nadadamay. Kawawa ka naman dahil wala ka namang alam,” said Defensor in an interview via Zoom with House media.
“Hindi tayo humihinto sa kampanya laban sa katiwalian, pero maglabas ng pangalan dahil ang hirap naman na ang buong Kongreso ang tinatamaan. Parang blanket na pagtuturo ang accusation against the members of Congress,” said Defensor.
According to Belgica, some lawmakers conspire with public works personnel and project contractors in committing corruption. Belgica charged that these congressmen wield influence over the implementation of local projects and the movement of district engineers.
Earlier, Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga Jr., a CPA-lawyer by profession urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Senate to conduct a parallel probe on what President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte described as massive corruption in the DPWH.
Barzaga said the NBI and the Senate are both in a better position to hold credible investigation into the alleged unabated and widespread corruption within the DPWH that the President has been complaining about.
“Let the ax fall where it may. The NBI can pursue a case build up against people behind the systemic and systematic corruption at the DPWH.
“Some senators who have been talking about the huge lump sump appropriations in the DPWH budget for next year could help shed light on the President’s complaint by conducting a probe on the matter,” said Barzaga, a lawmaker serving his 4th stint in Congress.
“This may serve as an opportunity for the senators to exercise their legislative function and draw inputs from possible investigation into the matter similar to PhilHealth investigation,” Barzaga said.