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Lawmaker and other officials charged

The Justice department-led Task Force Against Corruption said Thursday it had filed criminal charges against a member of the House of Representatives, some personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways and officials of a local government unit.

Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar made the disclosure even as she said the TFAC received a total of 274 complaints, but since many of the complaints received had the same subject as those that had been previously received by the task force, “the accurate number of complaints actually filed with TFAC is 180.”

“Two complaints filed with the TFAC have already been found to be sufficient in form and substance, and were endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman,” Villar said in a text message to reporters.

She says one of the cases involves “a Representative in Congress and the DPWH on the favoring of certain contractors.”

The other case involves “irregularities in the purchase of land by a municipality.”

She did not identify the lawmaker or the local officials accused of involvement in corruption before the anti-graft body.

“The cases have just been referred to the Ombudsman and we have not received any update whether they have commenced the investigation, so I won’t be able to give those details yet,” she said.

Villar said some of the complaints were being evaluated by the Complaints Evaluation Committee.

“Those which have already been evaluated by the CEC have been referred to the Assistant Secretaries, to the Undersecretaries or to the Secretary for review or further action,” she said.

“A total of 69 complaints “have been referred to other TFAC members and appropriate agencies for comment/action.”

The TFAC was formed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Oct. 27, 2020.  He ordered Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to have the DOJ lead a task force to investigate corruption in the government until the end of his term in June 2022.

Aside from the DOJ, the task force is composed of representatives from the National Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, the National Prosecution Service, the DOJ’s Office of Cybercrime and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Topics: House of Representatives , Task Force Against Corruption , Emmeline Aglipay-Villar , Department of Public Works and Highways , Rodrigo Duterte
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