RESIGN OR BE TERMINATED | Duterte threatens to axe two assistant secretaries

8 months ago

MANILA, Philippines (May 15, 2018) – The Palace on Tuesday announced that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered two cabinet assistant secretaries who are allegedly involved in corrupt acts to tender their resignation or face termination.

During today’s press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque named the two officials as Assistant Secretary Moslemen T. Macarambon from the Department of Justice and Assistant Secretary Tingagun A. Umpa from the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“Investigation conducted by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that Asec. Macarambon has regularly been intervening on behalf of suspected smugglers of gold and other precious jewelry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” Roque said.

Umpa, on the other hand, “allegedly asked from contractors in the ARMM area for certain percentages from projects awarded to these contractors.”

Internal investigation done by the DPWH qualifies this as grave abuse of power and a possible act of corruption.

Asked whether the Palace will sue Macarambon and Umpa for their alleged corrupt practices, Roque said that pursuing cases against erring officials is the job of the Ombudsman.

“Ang mga kaso po ay katungkulan na iyan ng Ombudsman,” Roque explained.

“Bagama’t mayroon pong imbestigasyon na ginawa ang Department of Justice at saka ang Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission na puwede pong gamitin ng Ombudsman sa kanilang imbestigasyon,” he added.

It was on October 4, 2017 when President Rodrigo Duterte, through an executive order, ordered the creation of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

It is tasked to check the lifestyle and activities of public officials.

“Sila [PACC] po ay may recommendatory powers at sinusumite po nila ang kanilang recommendation sa Office of the President,” Roque said.

“Mayroon pong Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs. At [dati] po, lahat ng reklamo [ay] sa desk nila fina-file. Pero ngayon po, maraming kaso rin ang nanggaling sa DESLA at ibinigay nila for investigation sa Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission,” he continued.

According to Roque, the PACC inherited around 400 complaints from the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs since it started to perform its mandate.