Most corruption complaints involve DPWH projects

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    JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said the Task Force against Corruption which he heads has so far received 20 complaints, and most of these involved projects undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

    The complaints will still be filtered, he said.

    Earlier, Guevarra identified the DPWH, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Land Registration as the agencies the task force will focus on in its investigations on corruption in the entire government, as ordered by President Duterte.

    Guevarra said not all of the complaints received by the task force involves projects worth at least P1 billion.

    He previously said the task force has set a P1-billion threshold for suspected irregularities that it will focus on. Yesterday, he said the task force will also investigate corrupt activities in government agencies involving less than P1 billion, and if the project had a high impact on the delivery of basic services to the public.

    Guevarra said the task force will conduct only a fact-finding probe and it will still have to go through the Office of the Ombudsman for preliminary investigation.

    The preliminary investigation will determine if their is enough basis for the Ombudsman to elevate the case to the Sandiganbayan for trial.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said President Duterte’s track record in fighting corruption speaks for itself, after Sen. Richard Gordon commented on the slow progress in the corruption drive of the administration, especially in connection with PhilHealth.

    He said it is Gordon’s “personal opinion.”

    Roque said Duterte has been firing officials he has appointed and even those close to him under his anti-corruption drive.

    He said the President even started naming publicly some individuals who have been charged, suspended, or even relieved following the findings of the Ombudsman.

    On PhilHealth, Roque said alleged members of a mafia in the agency have been charged, and Gordon just wanted some other officials to be charged.

    Gordon has said he was starting to doubt the sincerity of the government in fighting corruption because of alleged dilly-dallying on prosecution of people tagged in several Senate investigations.

    The President has said he is devoting the last two years of his term in ridding government of corruption, starting with the PhilHealth, the Department of Public Works and Highways and the and Bureau of Immigration. – With Jocelyn Montemayor