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PACC junks calls for disclosure

Michelle R. Guillang

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The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) on Saturday junked calls for it to disclose the names of congressmen allegedly involved in the corruption inside the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

In a televised Laging Handa briefing, PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica maintained that the investigation against the said lawmakers are still ongoing.

“We don’t want to compromise the investigation,” Belgica explained. “It’s not something to be feasted on and be turned into “blind items.”

Belgica was reacting to the statement of Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor urging the PACC to name the lawmakers who allegedly benefitted from the anomalous DPWH projects.

“Congressman Mike Defensor is right. Not all solons are involved in the corruption. But not all however are clean based on our investigations,” he said.

Belgica maintained that the PACC cannot turn a blind eye in the corruption in the DPWH and House of Representatives.

Defensor has earlier challenged the PACC to name the congressmen allegedly getting kickbacks from DPWH projects so as not to tarnish the image of the entire Chamber.

Belgica, however said: “A third party or an external auditor or investigator will always produce the most effective, efficient investigation.”

“The President is serious with the fight against corruption. He wouldn’t let anybody get away with corrupt activities. Our work is to provide him evidence,” he added.

Belgica recalled that in 2013 when he filed a case against the pork barrel system which the court later as “unconstitutional,” he found that congressmen having the power to choose district engineers and contractors had “compromised the system to corruption.”

“Because of that power they (congressmen) could assert, the people they employed became beholden to them. I think we need to strengthen the power of the secretary of DPWH, that he should be the only one who is allowed to choose district engineers, so these people would not fear anyone but the secretary,” he shared.

with BELLA CARIASO

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