MANILA — The country’s so-called “mega” task force against corruption (TFAC) led by the Department of Justice (DOJ) has received almost 300 complaints since it was established late last year, its spokesperson said Thursday.
According to DOJ Spokesperson Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, the task force has received 284 complaints, 2 of which were already sent to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Villar said there were many documents that had the “same subject” and thus were considered as duplicates, and so the complaints were merged, resulting in a total 180 complaints.
“Out of the 274, 240 are with the TFAC. However, since many of the complaints received have the same subject as those which have been previously received by the TFAC, the accurate number of complaints actually filed with the TFAC is 180,” she explained.
The official added that some cases are currently in the process of evaluation by the Complaints Evaluation Committee (CEC).
These were also reviewed by the department’s assistant secretaries and undersecretaries, while some were already sent to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s office for further review.
A total of 69 cases, meanwhile, were referred to the task force’s members and other government agencies while another 2, deemed sufficient in form, were endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman for action.
The following complaints were referred to the Ombudsman:
- A case involving a local government unit on alleged irregularities regarding the purchase of land by a municipality
- A case involving a lawmaker in the House of the Representatives, and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on alleged favor for certain contractors
Villar said the Ombudsman has yet to give updates regarding the cases endorsed to them and whether they already filed cases against the respondents.
Another complaint, she said, was endorsed to the National Prosecution Service for preliminary investigation. The respondents are said to be officials from the DPWH District Engineering Office.
In October, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the DOJ to investigate the entire government for corruption until the end of his term in 2022.
The order gave the DOJ the power to decide what allegations to investigate and to work with other agencies.
Guevarra had said that lawmakers and members of other government branches will be investigated along with the executive department if they are involved in criminal or corrupt acts.
- With a report from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News