MANILA — Several lawmakers on Thursday urged the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to identify the 12 incumbent lawmakers it alleged to have received kickbacks from the government’s public works projects.
PACC commissioner Greco Belgica bared on Wednesday some legislators were allegedly pocketing 5 to 15 percent of funds for government infrastructure projects.
According to lawmakers, the PACC should just identify those involved in the corruption scheme and avoid "insinuations" that cast doubts on the "integrity" of the lower Chamber.
"To be fair to Congress, the PACC should name the 'less than 12' legislators allegedly involved in corruption activities alongside DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) officials. More importantly, evidence must be presented and cases must be filed," said AKO BICOL Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin.
"This is not healthy for Congress as an institution. Mahirap 'pag puro chismis lang. The PACC should walk the walk," Garbin added.
Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor echoed Garbin and urged PACC to "just shut up" if they cannot provide evidence on their allegations.
"[H]e (Belgica) should just shut up. If he has evidence that can stand in court, he should file cases against the lawmakers he claims are involved in corruption," the party-list solon said.
The PACC is tasked to investigate and hear cases primarily involving graft and corruption against all presidential appointees, not elected officials.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the PACC should submit its findings to Congress, which has existing mechanisms to punish erring members.
"In the House we have the ethics committee. Ang findings nung PACC they can submit that to the ethics committee para maging dahilan 'yan na magkaroon ng pag-imbestiga kung kinakailangan," Zarate said.
(The findings of the PACC, they can submit that to the ethics committee so there would be an investigation.)
Belgica earlier said the list was submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte, and that it would then be forwarded to the Office of the Ombudsma, which has jurisdiction over such cases.
In October, the President issued a memorandum directing the Department of Justice to look into anomalies in state agencies until the end of his term in 2022.