Duterte: 800 government officials, employees fired for graft, other offenses

John Gabriel Agcaoili, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2020 01:54 AM | Updated as of Nov 24 2020 04:39 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte said around 800 officials and workers have been dismissed due to illegal activities while in government service, and identified some of them on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Handout/File photo

Duterte reads names of sacked employees from BIR, other agencies

MANILA (UPDATE)- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he will continue to "go after government officials and workers who are into graft and corruption," saying around 800 officials and workers have been dismissed from the service due to illegal activities.

The President named some of them, including Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) employees who allegedly pocketed tax collections and requested money in exchange for permit approvals.

Duterte said the sacked officials and workers faced administrative cases.

"Pa dating sa Ombudsman, the Ombudsman if he finds na tama na 'yung ginawa sa administrative case, so we will file the corresponding criminal charge," he said.

The Office of the Ombudsman is tasked to investigate and prosecute Philippine government officials accused of crimes, especially involving graft and corruption.

"So dalawa ang harapin mo, dismissal from the service, wala ka nang trabaho. Tapos makulong ka."

Duterte said he will identify more people allegedly involved in lawless activities next week.

Late last month, the President directed the Department of Justice to investigate the "entire government" for corruption. 

Duterte issued a memorandum directing the DOJ to look into anomalies at state agencies until the end of his term in 2022. The memo gave the department the power to decide what allegations to investigate and to work with other agencies.

NO AUTHORITY OVER CONGRESSMEN

The President also bared a list from the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) containing names of congressmen allegedly asking for commissions over government projects.

However, he refused to name these legislators in public, and will instead forward the list to the Ombudsman, citing jurisdiction issues.

“Let’s go to political law… I have no business investigating congressmen; they belong to a separate organ of government.”

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the DOJ will investigate legislators’ participation in questionable transactions, if warranted, and name them.

“I think it is within the power of let’s say the task force or the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) or the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) or the PACC which are member agencies of the Task Force Against Corruption to mention these let’s say members of Congress who are allegedly involved in the particular transaction," he said.

Duterte said lawmakers implicated in such transactions cannot be excluded from the probe, but stood firm that the task force cannot make public their names. 

“It presupposes that the investigation was conducted because of a questionable transaction… whether or not they can themselves independently of me release the names, sabihin ko na huwag.”--With a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

RELATED VIDEO

Watch more in iWantTFC