MANILA — The mega task force created to investigate corruption in the entire Philippine government has set up a secretariat and is now ready to receive complaint from the public, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Thursday.
Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said the Task Force Against Corruption Operations Center met Wednesday “to identify its functions, namely to act as the secretariat which receives information, complaint, and requests to investigate certain persons, acts or agencies.”
“The information or report will be evaluated by a committee that will recommend appropriate action—whether to refer to a specific agency, or for further investigation, or for presentation to the core group of the task force,” Villar told reporters in a text message.
The operations center will be headed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra as chairperson but will have a case evaluation committee that will screen all information and complaint but the head of the evaluation committee has not yet been named.
“The evaluation committee makes a recommendation of where the reports get to be referred to but the referral is approved and signed by the chairperson,” she said.
Villar added that if the information is already complete and a complaint was filed, it will either be referred to a prosecutor if the official’s salary level is below salary grade 27 (lower than P123,000) or to the Office of the Ombudsman if the official’s salary level is at salary grade 27 (P123,000 to P138,000) or higher.
She added that the complaint may now be sent to the secretariat via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through a hotline (8521-29-30).
In late October, President Rodrigo Duterte issued a memorandum directing the DOJ to look into anomalies at state agencies until the end of his term in 2022.
It gave the agency the power to decide what allegations to investigate and to work with other agencies.
The task force is also expected to investigate lawmakers, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.