The Philippines: Justice dep’t forms core group to investigate state corruption

  • THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has formed a “core group” that will lead investigations of various agencies for corruption, in line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s earlier order, it said in a statement on 28 Oct 20.
  • Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra met with senior officials of the agency on 28 Oct 20, including Prosecutor General Benedicto A. Malcontento and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Officer-in-Charge Eric B. Distor to discuss how to proceed with the probe.
  • The officials discussed “methods of securing information regarding incidences of corruption in government, and possible approaches for the conduct of the investigations,” DoJ said.
  • The probe will take into account the gravity of the allegations and their impact on the delivery of government services, according to the statement.
  • Duterte on 27 Oct 20 issued a memorandum directing the justice ministry to look into anomalies at state agencies until the end of his term in 2022. It gives the ministry the power to decide what allegations to investigate and to work with other agencies.
  • “This country continues to be plagued with corruption,” Duterte said in a televised national address. “Up to now, it is not weakening, it is getting stronger,” he said, vowing to focus his remaining term on fighting corruption.

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