MANILA — The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is currently investigating two incumbent Cabinet officials for alleged corruption.
“Mayroon pang (There is also) Cabinet secretary. I think dalawa sila eh (there are two of them),” PACC Commissioner Greco Belgico said in a Palace briefing
“Ang investigation namin cannot be revealed to the public until it has been submitted to the President. The President decides on it then it can be opened to the public,” he added.
Belgica further said the two Cabinet officials have been responsive, it is “unfair” to name them since investigation is ongoing.
“Ang (An) investigation kasi doesn’t mean they’re already guilty. So it’s unfair to mention them and make them appear na corrupt,” Belgica said.
So far, he said the two Cabinet officials have been able to provide evidence and documents disproving the corruption allegations.
However, he said it will still be up to the President to decide whether or not he would fire or recommend the two Cabinet officials to resign.
“So far (they are able to justify themselves). I don’t know kung magja-justify as to hindi sila marekomendahan masibak (if they will be able to justify not being recommended to be fired),” Belgica said.
‘Sa aming rekomendsayon, meron kami narerekomenda na boss, i-suspend muna natin. Ang ginawa ni Presidente sibakin na (In our recommendation, we have recommended an official for suspension only but what the President did was he fired said official),” he added.
Belgica said the PACC stated investigation after cases were filed against the two Cabinet officials February this year.
He was mum on details but said that the complaint was filed by a “private person.”
Investigation results of the PACC are all based on “substantial evidence” and not mere “chismis (gossip)”, he said.
At present, Belgica said the PACC is conducting a lifestyle check and investigating around 200 officials from the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in a span of two to three months.
He said these agencies have the most corruption complaints.
For the PCSO alone, Belgica said the PACC is investigating around 15 officials.
Belgica, meanwhile, encouraged the public to report any illegal activities being committed by government employees.
He also commended DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade for voluntarily submitting himself to undergo a lifestyle check.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President will await the PACC’s report but will not interfere with its work.
“That’s the job of the PACC. We will await its final report and recommendation on the matter,” Panelo said in a message to media.
“He (the President) doesn’t have to be aware. When the investigation is done that’s the time he will decide on its recommendation. He doesn’t interfere with the work of the PACC,” he added. (PNA)