Graft probers zero in on 13 government officials
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday revealed a list of 13 government officials who are under investigation for graft and corruption.
In an ambush interview after his bilateral meeting with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at Malacañang Palace, the President named some of them including two who, the Palace said, were asked by the President to resign or be fired for corruption.
They are Department of Justice Assistant Secretary Moslemen T. Macarambon Sr. and Department of Public Works and Highways Assistant Secretary Tingagun A. Umpa.
He also named Atty. Ambrosi Basman, Atty. Rohani Basman, Amisa Lumodtod, Amelkier Macabando (ex-mayor of Marawi City), Atty. Samina Sambaco Macabando Usman (DOJ prosecutor), OIC Pasay City Prosecutor Atty. Benjamin Lanto, inquest prosecutor Clemente Villanueva, assistant prosecutor Florencio Dela Cruz, Naia District Collector Ramon Anquilan, Naia Intelligence and Investigation Division Director Adzhar Albani, and Customs operations officer Lomontod Macabanto in the list.
“They are all suspended, pending an investigation,” Duterte said.
The President said the list will be forwarded to the Office of the Ombudsman.
“I want the Ombudsman so that there will be no complaints. They are too many,” he said.
Duterte apologized for giving their names “but I said do not go into corruption.”
He said the list was provided by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission headed by Dante Jimenez.
As this developed, the Justice Department said it would also investigate the prosecutors identified by President Duterte as involved in graft and corruption.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said the probe will be conducted by the DoJ’s Internal Affairs Unit against the four National Prosecution members tagged by the President.
“The complaint will most likely be filed with the Ombudsman, but it doesn’t prevent the DoJ from conducting its own investigation through its Internal Affairs Unit,” Guevarra, said in text message.
“With or without any instruction from the President, I will commence our own internal investigation within the DoJ,” Guevarra added.
According to Guevarra, the complaints were “likely” to be filed before Office of the Ombudsman, said that the DoJ internal affairs probe would focus on the administrative aspect of the case. With PNA
“The Ombudsman will focus on the criminal aspect, the DoJ on the administrative aspect,” he explained.