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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

‘Corruption probe done in October’

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President Rodrigo Duterte will not interfere in the investigation of two Cabinet secretaries for their alleged involvement in corrupt activities—and does not even know who they are, the Palace said Thursday.

READ: Two Cabinet men tagged

Greco Belgica, a commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, said Wednesday that two Cabinet members were being investigated over allegations of corruption.

Belgica declined to name the officials but said the investigation will be over in October since the officials have been cooperating with the probe.

“That agency, the PACC, it’s their duty to investigate. So, until such time they are done with findings, recommendation, the President will not know,” Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.

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The Palace also distanced itself from the investigation.

“He does not interfere in the function of any department, agency or office,” Panelo told Manila Standard in a text message.

Belgica said one of the complaints was filed by an official from the Cabinet secretary’s department while the other was submitted by a private citizen.

PACC is also conducting a lifestyle check on 200 officials from the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Transportation, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Former PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan and ex-board member Sandra Cam, who resigned from their posts because of corruption issues, were also included in the PACC lifestyle check, Belgica said.

READ: Sandra told: File raps vs. PCSO men

The PACC already has possession of documents proving anomalies within the PCSO, Cam said Thursday.

“PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica already has in his possession all the documents to prove corruption in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office [PCSO] since May 2019,” Cam said in a statement.

Cam explained that Duterte asked for the documents himself when they met in Tokyo, Japan last May during the President’s official visit.

She said she handed the documents to Senator Christopher Go, who himself turned them over to Belgica.

“President Duterte and I met in Tokyo. He asked me for proof. I then gave him the documents that proved that there is corruption in PCSO,” Cam said.

“He then asked me to hand over these documents to Senator Bong Go and the latter gave these documents to Commissioner Belgica who is in charge of the investigation,” she added.

Cam said she is also ready to bare more details about corruption in PCSO in a Senate or House inquiry.

She earlier said she possessed documents, which could prove that officials, including retired military generals, were involved in corruption at the PCSO.

On Wednesday, Belgica said Cam is allowed to submit her evidence to the PACC, noting that she was the first to call out corruption in PCSO.

“She will be allowed to submit the evidence to us, to the President, to the Ombudsman and we will welcome that,” Belgica said in a Palace briefing.

“So, we are interested to hear what she has, not to take it as the truth, but to investigate and allow it to go into the process,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a halt to all gaming operations under the PCSO on July 26 over alleged “massive corruption” within the agency.

On July 30, Duterte lifted the suspension of PCSO lotto operations but other gaming operations such as small-town lottery, Keno, and Peryahan ng Bayan remain suspended pending the investigation. With PNA

READ: PCSO, franchisees face House inquiry

READ: 10 PCSO execs tagged in STL fiasco

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