Department of Justice

DOJ: Local governments, DPWH have most corruption complaints

Lian Buan
Other agencies with 'large numbers of complaints' are LRA, DENR, and BoC

The Department of Justice (DOJ) received more than 200 complaints of corruption, most of them against local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“The agencies/units with the most number of complaints were various LGUs, followed closely by the DPWH. Many of the complaints were about anomalous transactions perpetrated jointly by these LGUs and district engineering offices,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Wednesday, June 30.

The DOJ was deputized by President Rodrigo Duterte to lead a task force against corruption. Guevarra said that so far the task force has “quietly” acted upon 210 complaints.

Guevarra said other agencies with “large numbers of complaints were the Land Registration Authority (LRA), DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), and BoC (Bureau of Customs).

The task force would still have to endorse these complaints to either the Office of the Ombudsman, which has its own fact-finding team, or to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which has its own graft division.

Questions have been raised about duplication by the task force when mechanisms already exist, but Guevarra said the task force would allow them to employ a strategy of “swarming on a target.”

Guevarra said 15 cases were forwarded to the Ombudsman for further investigation, 15 to the NBI for criminal case buildup, and “the rest were referred to other pertinent government agencies for the conduct of administrative investigation.”

Guevarra said the DOJ, Office of the Ombudsman, and the Commission on Audit (COA) are finalizing an agreement to deploy resident ombudsmen in “graft-prone” agencies.

As for the Department of Health (DOH), Guevarra said the complaints mostly involve Dengvaxia and PhilHealth.

“The task force has not received so far any other complaints against the DOH, particularly in connection with anti-COVID 19 pandemic expenditures,” said Guevarra. – Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.