Duterte asks Ombudsman to probe, file raps vs dismissed gov't officials
President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate and file the necessary charges against former government officials whom he fired due to alleged corruption.
In the campaign rally of the ruling PDP-Laban in Cagayan de Oro City Sunday night, Duterte said it was "very painful" for him that he had to dismiss some of his former officials who were his friends for a long time.
"Corruption is just one thing. There are many Cabinet members who are...I said it should be beyond whisper like Ceasar's wife. Caesar’s wife back then, they said, must be beyond a whisper. It’s difficult when it’s…," he said.
"And it’s true. There really is corruption. And these are all --- I’m the one who told the Ombudsman, 'Investigate it and file the charges.' So I can file charges against all Cabinet members," Duterte added.
Duterte said he appointed them because he trusted them.
"And what is really very painful to me is that they were with me even during the past years in 1988 when I ran for the first time for public office. They were there to help me and assist me in everything," he said.
Some of Duterte's appointees whom he fired due to alleged corruption were former Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno, former Urban Poor Commissioner Chairman Terry Ridon, Social Security System Commissioner Jose Gabriel "Pompee" La Viña, National Irrigation Administration chief Peter Laviña, and former Bureau of Immigration executives Michael Robles and Al Argosino.
Some appointees, also accused of corruption, however, were not sacked but were only reappointed to other government posts, such as former Bureau of Customs Commissioners Nicanor Faeldon, now head of the Bureau of Corrections, and Isidro Lapeña, now helming the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Meanwhile, in a press briefing on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace would not initiate its own probe against Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Sandra Cam nor she be fired.
“From what I understand, somebody has already filed a case in the Ombudsman. So that’s the Ombudsman’s call now,” he said.
Cam allegedly amassed over P500 million in unexplained wealth since Duterte appointed her to PCSO.
However, Cam has said she would never steal from the government. Celerina Monte/DMS