IT has become clear by now how Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra will tackle the gargantuan and highly daunting job of investigating large-scale graft and corruption in all agencies of the government.
First, the justice secretary will establish the task force’s operations center at the DOJ main office on Padre Faura St., Manila, which will receive complaints directly from the public about questionable government projects and programs, including the names of officials supposedly involved and their cooperators in the private sector, mostly contractors and suppliers.
‘… the Guevarra task force against official corruption will not encounter any dearth of information or leads in fulfilling its mandate from the President.’
Then, Guevarra will also tap media exposés and audit reports from the Commission on Audit (COA). This second act is most welcome and will likely produce the best results because initial investigations of COA are well documented and complete with recommendations to various managements of government agencies and government-owned and controlled corporations.
Secretary Guevarra told reporters the other day: “While waiting for specific complaints from the public, the task force will look into existing COA fraud audit reports, investigative journalism reports and other available information.”
May we add, too, that the DOJ should also look at committee reports coming from the Senate and the House of Representatives in connection with investigations done by these two chambers on shenanigans in the government, particularly in the last two years or so. We are sure the task force headed by Secretary Guevarra, if it is really sincere in going about its work, will find many details and evidence of corruption scandals in these reports.
We also cannot discount in this regard the work done by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) which has successfully exposed and caused the dismissal by President Duterte of several presidential appointees who shamed the appointing power by dipping their fingers in the corruption pie. Guevarra can make full use of the PACC’s comprehensive investigative study on then alleged but now-confirmed irregularities in the Department of Public Works and Highways.
As we can see, the Guevarra task force against official corruption will not encounter any dearth of information or leads in fulfilling its mandate from the President.
We can only say “good luck,” Mr. Anti-Graft Czar.