Corruption complaints in 4 provinces under probe: DOJ

Corruption complaints in 4 provinces under probe: DOJ

MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said public works projects in the provinces of Samar, Camarines Norte, Davao Oriental, and Cagayan are among the complaints being evaluated by the Task Force Against Corruption (TFAC).

In a message to newsmen, Guevarra said the TFAC will accept the turnover of these “complaints from the PACC (Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission), “considering that most of these complaints are not ready for immediate filing with the Office of the Ombudsman and need further investigation or case buildup”.

“As of January 11, 2021, the task force had received 144 complaints and had evaluated 60, mostly involving alleged anomalies in public works projects in the regions,” Guevarra said.

Among the cases being investigated, Guevarra said, were an “alleged massive corruption at the first district engineering office in Northern Samar; alleged ghost deliveries of rice and fuel in Capalonga, Camarines Norte; alleged anomalous procurement of heavy equipment and illegal disbursement of Bayanihan funds in Cateel, Davao Oriental; and alleged irregular bidding, bribery, and extortion in the third district engineering office in Cagayan”.

Guevarra also said the PACC, being a member of the TFAC, “will continue to participate actively in the investigation within the framework of the task force”.

Guevarra said the TFAC has submitted a progress report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 28, 2020.

He added that the amount of funds involved in these cases ranges from a few million pesos to hundreds of million pesos, adding that “if the amount involved is PHP500 million or more, the TFAC will create a special investigating team composed of representatives from the member-agencies.”

Guevarra said other complaints, such as the alleged anomalous construction of two bridges in the same location in General Santos City, and those identified in a Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism report, are currently being evaluated by the TFAC operations center.

The TFAC, meanwhile, welcomed the offer of the House of Representatives Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability under Rep. Michael Aglipay to help in investigations where legislative action may be needed, as some of these complaints involve certain members of the lower chamber. (PNA)

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