Zarate asks: Is this anti-corruption drive just for show?
MANILA, Philippines — For Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, “little or nothing” will come out of the government-wide corruption probe ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte—as he asked if the investigation is “just for show.”
Zarate made the remark after Duterte ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to extend its probe on corruption beyond the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) mess and cover the entire government bureaucracy.
“Little or nothing will come out of this especially since Pres. Duterte himself has a penchant for absolving his people even before an investigation has started like what he did to [Department of Health] Sec. Francisco Duque, DPWH Sec. [Mark] Villar, Gen. Debold Sinas and many others before them,” Zarate said in a statement.
The opposition lawmaker also questioned why the investigation was given to the DOJ and not the Office of the Ombudsman, which independently monitors the three branches of the government and investigates and prosecutes government officials proven to commit crimes such as graft and corruption.
“Also there is supposedly the Office of the Ombudsman to go after corrupt government officials? Why create another body under the executive?” Zarate said.
“Now what happens when the Ombudsman and the DOJ reach the opposite findings on their investigation of the same agency? Is Malacanang saying that the Ombudsman is useless or is this anti-corruption drive just for show?” he added.
Further, Zarate said: “As it is, if sacred cows and patronage politics remain in the Duterte administration then no amount of corruption drive will succeed. They are all bound to fail.”
Under Duterte’s order, the DOJ is also authorized to create as many panels that it deems necessary and invite or direct other government agencies to be part of such panels.
“This directive shall remain in effect until June 30 of 2022, pag-alis ko (when I leave), unless sooner lifted or revoked,” Duterte said.
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