Task force vs. corruption logs over 200 complaints

By Benjamin Pulta

February 16, 2021, 9:08 pm

MANILA – Justice secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday said the Task Force Against Corruption (TFAC) has so far received over 200 complaints with “large number” involving local government units (LGUs).

In a message to reporters, Guevarra said of the 208 complaints, only 148 pertain to actual corruption cases with 69 of these have been evaluated by the task force.

He said 40 cases were referred to other member agencies of the task force for comment, further investigation, or case build-up with one case set to be filed with the Office of the Ombudsman.

“The complaints involve a wide range of national government agencies, several government-owned or -controlled corporations, and a large number of local government units,” he said.

Guevarra said the complaints involve alleged violations of the anti-graft law, procurement law, Commission on Audit rules, and social amelioration programs.

He said there are also cases of overpricing, ghost projects, unfinished projects, kickbacks and commissions, bribery, extortion, smuggling, fake land titles, falsified free patents, and other fraudulent, corrupt, or illegal acts committed by public officials and private persons alike.

The DOJ earlier said it will be prioritizing reported irregularities involving a minimum threshold of PHP1 billion in public funds, among other criteria.

On the original list are allegations of irregularities in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and the Land Registration Authority (LRA).

The task force, headed by the Department of Justice, is also composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), National Prosecution Service (NPS), and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). (PNA)