Duterte forms body to probe corruption of appointees
President Duterte has created a commission to investigate presidential appointees accused of graft and high crimes a week after he threatened to investigate corruption in the Office of the Ombudsman following its announcement that it would look into his alleged hidden wealth.
The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission created under Executive Order No. 43 issued by Mr. Duterte on Wednesday would be “solely dedicated” to assist the President in investigating complaints and fact-finding inquiries on erring government officials.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the President might conduct lifestyle checks on his appointees and submit his findings to the “proper disciplining authority.”
“The President, as appointing authority, is not prohibited by law or by the Constitution to conduct lifestyle checks on his own appointees, but will not usurp the power to discipline certain independent constitutional officers such as the Ombudsman and judicial officials,” he added.
The investigation will also include other public officers involved in alleged corruption or other high crimes and those who violate the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
The President said the commission would be composed of a chair and four commissioners, the majority of whom should have been members of the Philippine bar for at least five years.
Acting on a complaint or on its own and also concurrently with the Office of the Ombudsman, the commission will have the power to issue subpoenas, hear, investigate, receive, gather and evaluate evidence, intelligence reports and information on administrative cases against “all presidential appointees in the executive branch of government,” including the military, police and government-owned and controlled corporations.
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