Lawmakers included in gov’t-wide probe vs corruption — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Members of both houses of Congress are covered by President Rodrigo Duterte’s order for the Department of Justice-led task force to investigate corruption across all government agencies, Malacañang said Tuesday.
“Alam niyo po ang mandato po ng DOJ, sang ayon sa batas na nabuo ng National Prosecutors Office is to investigate everyone. Pero meron din po tayong mga immunities na ineenjoy ang ating mga elected members of Congress and the Senate pero it is not for violating anti-graft laws,” Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing.
(The mandate of the DOJ, according to the law that created the National Prosecutors Office is to investigate everyone. Although elected members of Congress and Senate enjoy certain immunities, it is not for violating anti-graft laws.)
“So kasama po ang lahat ng mga public officers despite the separation of powers dahil wala naman pong seperate na ahensya na nag-iinvestigate ng korapsyon sa Kongrespo mismo. ‘Yan po ay kapangyarihan mismo ng ehekutibo, to implement all laws kahit sino pa man sila,” he added.
(So all public officers are covered by the order despite the separation of powers because there is no separate agency that investigates corruption in the Congress itself. That is the power of the executive department, to implement all laws no matter who they are.)
In a speech aired Tuesday morning, Duterte ordered the DOJ to lead a multi-agency task force to conduct a sweeping, government-wide investigation, lamenting how the agencies have succumbed to rampant corruption.
He even admitted that the corruption problem of the country has worsened.
In 2016, Duterte won the presidency campaigning on a promise to fight corruption, crime, and illegal drugs.
According to Roque, Duterte’s order is meant to emphasize his promise to use the remainder of his term in weeding out corruption.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.