Duterte offers ‘prize’ for info on corruption

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    President Duterte at a Cabinet meeting last November 10. (Photo by King Rodriguez / Presidential Photo.

    PRESIDENT Duterte is offering a reward of P50,000 to P100,000 to anyone who could provide information about government officials engaged in corruption and other irregularities.

    The President, in his weekly public address on Tuesday night, said the reward would be given to informants, whose identities will remain secret, if the information leads to successful identification and weeding out of the corrupt officials.

    “Pakiusapan ko na lang iyung lahat. Kayong walang mga trabaho, kayong mga casual ilang taon na, all you have to do is to let me know and may prize ako…. Pagka mayroon kang malaki, if it’s a malaking sindikato, ghost project ni director … I will give you 50,000.

    Ibulong mo lang, maski sino. (I’ll just make a request to all. You, who have no jobs, who have been casual employees for how many years now, all you have to do is to let me know and I’ll give you a prize. If… it involves a big syndicate, ghost project of director… I will give you 50,000. Just whisper it to me),” he said.

    He said he will even raise the reward to P100,000 if the alleged ghost project or irregularity is still in the process of being cooked up or committed.

    The President said the government could monitor and wait until the offense is actually committed to catch the corrupt officials in the act.

    Duterte also encouraged the public to report it if they are being harassed or threatened and he will “deal with the devil.”

    The President has vowed to address corruption in the last two years of his term.

    Duterte, who last week publicly named government workers who are either suspended or removed from government due to alleged corruption, named more officials who are facing corruption allegations.

    He warned he would immediately fire those who have been suspended.

    “Sa corruption, sinasabi ko naman sa inyo na galit ako talaga and I will not only investigate you, I will [also] expose you to the public para malaman ng tao na niloko ninyo iyong gobyerno (When it comes to corruption, I already said that it makes me angry and I will not only investigate you, I will [also] expose you to the public so the people would know that you’re fooling the government),” he said.

    Among the personnel that he named were from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Bureau of Immigration, and Local Water Utilities Administration.

    Some of the people he named are facing administrative charges, are suspended, or have been removed from office and facing criminal charges.

    The other day, Duterte summoned to Malacañang immigration officials tagged in the “pastillas” bribery scheme and gave them a dressing down after asking them to eat “pastillas” that allegedly included some rolled-up money.

    Duterte has a standing order to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to conduct a probe on alleged corruption in the entire government.

    Guevarra, in a forum, said the reward money will most likely come from President Duterte’s discretionary or intelligence funds since the Task Force Against Corruption that he heads has no funds for the reward system.

    He also said the reward system will apply only for “complaints that will actually bear fruit.”

    The task force which is composed of the DOJ, NBI, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, National Prosecution Service, Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Office of the Special Assistant to the President earlier thought of giving rewards to informants but Guevarra said the task force was not given funds for the purpose.

    He added they were also apprehensive that they would be flooded by tips, including bogus one, if they made the offer.

    Guevarra earlier named five agencies — DPWH, Customs, PhilHealth, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Land Registration Authority — as the main priority for investigation by the task force.

    Guevarra said most of the complaints he received so far came from DPWH regional offices and projects of local government units being implemented by the DPWH.

    But he added they also received complaints on agencies such as the Department of Transportation. — With Ashzel Hachero