The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission on Wednesday revealed more information on their list of lawmakers who were allegedly in corrupt activities.
According to PACC commissioner Greco Belgica, “less than 12” congressmen were part of the list submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte. Witnesses alleged that practices such as double funding and ghosts projects were some of the anomalous practices involved.
Belgica said one witness, in a testimony, claimed a congressman was asking for up to 10 percent in commission,
“Yung isang witness said, ang hinihingi sa kanya is 10 percent. Kahit hindi daw po galing ‘yung pondo doon sa Congressman niya, ibig sabihin galing sa ibang departmento or galing sa ibang agency, ay hinihingian pa rin daw sya. Pagkagaling daw sa Congressman niya, pumasok sa distrito, ang hinihingi sa kanya sampu. Pagka hindi daw, galing daw sa ibang agency, humihingi raw ng lima. 5 percent. Kaya siya nagagalit. Dahil sabi niya, sir ako na nagtrabaho nito, hindi naman galing sa kanya, bakit hinihingaan pa ako?” he revealed.
[One witness said a lawmaker was asking for 10 percent. Even if the funds did not come from the Congressman, meaning if it came from other department or agency, he/she was still being asked. If the funds came from the Congressman, from the district, he/she was asked for 10 percent. If it came from other agencies, they asked for 5 percent. That’s why he/she got mad. He/she said, sir, I worked for this, this did not come from him, why is he/she still asking for commission?]
In his public address aired Monday evening, Duterte informed his Cabinet members that he has received a list of names of “corrupt” congressmen from the PACC.
The president however went into an explanation on why he cannot investigate the lawmakers.
“Alam mo, let’s go to political law. I have no business investigating congressmen. They belong to a separate organ of government which is co-equal with the president pati ang Supreme Court,” Duterte said.
“Ngayon kung itapon mo sa akin, I have no other recourse, itapon ko din ‘yan sa Ombudsman,” he added, referring to Belgica’s list.
[If you pass that to me, I have no other recourse but to pass it on to the Office of the Ombudsman.]
Belgica agreed with the chief executive’s explanation and said that more concrete evidence is needed to further act on these claims.