MANILA — Nearly 5 years since it was created, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) was abolished by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his first executive order.
In his edict, Marcos explained that the PACC, along with the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, were ordered removed due to a need for a "just allocation of resources" amid health and economic crises.
The functions of the PACC, Marcos ordered, will be transferred to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs.
But what exactly was the PACC's mandate and purpose?
PACC AT A GLANCE
The PACC was formed in October 2017, upon former President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order No. 43.
In the order, Duterte cited the need to create a separate commission under the Office of the President "solely dedicated to providing assistance to the President in the investigation and hearing of administrative cases and complaints, and in the conduct of lifestyle checks and/or fact-finding inquiries concerning presidential appointees and other public officers allegedly involved in graft and corrupt practices."
Early in his administration, Duterte had vowed to fight corruption in all levels of government.
Notable heads of the PACC included Greco Belgica, Dante Jimenez, and Fortunato Guerrero.
According to the PACC website, the commission's core functions included the following:
- Review and consider concerns and reports on graft, corruption, and other acts or omissions of public officers and employees subject to administrative liability;
- Investigate and/or hear administrative cases within the jurisdiction of the PACC;
- Conduct fact-finding inquires and/or lifestyle checks on all officers and employees in the public service; and
- Report findings of investigations in cases handled and recommend appropriate legal and administrative action or actions.
In 2021, the PACC launched a flagship anti-corruption project that created a 49-member inter-agency coordinating council.
Dubbed "Project Kasangga: Aksyon Laban sa Korapsyon,” the campaign included the creation of the National Anti-Corruption Coordinating Council, which had presence in every level of government.
Duterte himself was the council's chair. Belgica, who was then the PACC chair, sat as the council's vice chair.
The initiative was launched only hours after the former President said he wanted the Senate to stop its probe on the Department of Health's management of funds during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All PACC officers and employees also pledged to free themselves from corrupt practices and combat corruption even within their own ranks.
"Should we fail to fulfill our commitment as provided for by this manifesto, we voluntarily open ourselves to investigation," the commission's integrity pledge read.
But with Marcos' order, all this will now be under the mandate of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs.
The deputy executive secretary will be making recommendations on matters requiring its action to the Executive Secretary, upon approval of the President.
For administrative cases under its jurisdiction, the deputy executive secretary will promulgate rules of procedure, but the rules established by the PACC will remain in effect, unless repealed or amended otherwise.