The head of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) revealed Tuesday that there are “strong” grounds to implicate the two Cabinet secretaries in the corruption allegations hurled against them.
PACC chairperson Dante Jimenez said the results of his office’s investigation found that there is a reason for President Rodrigo Duterte to sack the two members of his Cabinet who are accused of being corrupt.
He, however, refused to divulge the specifics of the controversies hounding the two Cabinet officials.
“May basis talaga. Mabigat (There is really a basis. It is strong),” Jimenez said in an exclusive interview with state-run news firms PTV, PNA, and Radyo Pilipinas, when asked for an update on the PACC’s probe against the two Cabinet officials.
“There [are] really sufficient grounds for the President to remove or even dismiss or suspend [the two alleged corrupt Cabinet secretaries],” he added.
On August 14, PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica said two incumbent Cabinet secretaries are being investigated since February for supposed involvement in corrupt practices in government.
One of the complaints was lodged by an official from the Cabinet Secretary’s department while the other case was filed by a private citizen, Belgica noted.
Jimenez said the PACC submitted to the President its findings and recommendations concerning the two alleged corrupt Cabinet officials earlier this month.
Duterte has final say
Jimenez said his office is leaving the fate of the two Cabinet secretaries to the Chief Executive.
“Depende sa kanya eh (It depends on him),” he said.
“Hintayin natin (Let’s wait). Let’s give him time… Kasi mahirap ‘yung pangungunahan mo (It’s difficult to preempt the President’s decision),” Jimenez added.
On November 14, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte would validate the allegations against two of his Cabinet members, once he receives the PACC’s report.
Duterte on November 19 said the two Cabinet secretaries who have been linked to corruption should be accorded due process.
The President, nevertheless, guaranteed that he would fire them if evidence proves their involvement in corrupt activities.
Jimenez said the PACC welcomes the President’s decision to launch another probe against the two Cabinet members.
“The President really has to validate all these things kasi galing lang naman sa amin sa commission iyan pero (because those just came from our commission but) I firmly believe that our office made the complete staff work on this,” he said.
“We don’t know kung along the way at nakita rin nila doon medyo merong error doon (they would see an error in our findings). We’ll leave that to the President,” he added. (PNA)