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Duterte names new PACC commissioner

President Duterte has appointed a new commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and gave him the marching order to ensure that dishonest public servants are prosecuted and dismissed from service.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Premier Medical Center President Atty. Danilo Yang (KARL NORMAN ALONZO/Presidential Photos / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President introduced his former schoolmate Danilo Yang, a former Nueva Ecija prosecutor, during a meeting with some Cabinet members of the pandemic response Sunday, saying he will be part of the government’s anti-corruption campaign.

“I’d like to introduce to you the ex-fiscal of Nueva Ecija, Danny Yang. We come from the same school. I need men not only in the matter of the safeguarding and health of the people from COVID. There are so many — well… There’s always a graft here, graft there, ah talagang may corruption dito, corruption doon,” Duterte said during his televised address Sunday.

“By the way, si Fiscal Yang, I forgot to mention where he belongs, he is with the Presidential Anti-Graft, doon ka,” he told his fraternity brother.

Duterte and Yang are members of San Beda College of Law-based Lex Talionis Fraternitas Inc. Yang served as president of the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines.

The President fired in April PACC commissioner Manuelito Luna for seeking a probe on Vice President Leni Robredo over her alleged illegal solicitations during the coronavirus crisis. Duterte said he saw nothing wrong with Robredo’s plea for help from the private sector.

He authorized Yang to file charges against public servants engaged in corrupt practices including alleged misuse of public funds in the coronavirus response as well as deliberate delay in the processing of permits.

He told Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo AƱo to coordinate with Yang on this matter.

Duterte, who has deplored corruption in the bureaucracy, has also given the city and municipal councils three days to pass an ordinance reducing the processing time for permits. He said he would ask Yang to initiate the corruption charges if they miss the deadline.

Asked if Duterte was referring to the local permits related to the establishment of telecommunication facilities, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said: “Yes.”

“The clock is ticking except on the days we do not hold office, I will count the 72 hours weekdays. Tapos, for example, it has been there on Monday, then two to three days, should be on Thursday. If you fail to do that, I am directing Fiscal Yang to file the case immediately with the department,” the President said.

“I’ll see to it that you are effectively suspended preventive — suspended as a form of a punishment. But I would prefer that you would be dismissed immediately and for the courts not to interfere,” he added.

Duterte said he understands the separation of powers among the branches of government but asked the courts to help him in the fight against corruption.

“As long as I am in the path of due process, please do not interfere. How? There might be an injunction or something. This is not a time for hearing cases. We will make the accounting of our behavior maybe after COVID,” he said.

Duterte, a former prosecutor, also said filing administrative charges is the “best way” to hold accountable public servants involved in corruption. He said a criminal proceeding involves “so many facets of due process that would derail a proposed prosecution.”

“I suggest that to save time, unless of course the Secretary, in his discretion, would rather hear them administratively. You know you are a lawyer and the fastest way to do it is actually administrative proceedings,” he told Yang.

The President said he has also requested Ombudsman Samuel Martires to help put an end to corruption in government. Martires, a former Supreme Court justice, was appointed to head the Office of the Ombudsman in 2018.

“I have requested officially kay Ombudsman Martires na I am not asking for the neck of the innocents, I just want the graft and corruption stopped and the parties involved in that corruption be prosecuted, he (may be) the mayor, the city council, or the barangay captain,” Duterte said.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/08/03/duterte-names-new-pacc-commissioner/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=duterte-names-new-pacc-commissioner)

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