Palace prefers independent body to probe alleged corruption in DPWH
Malacanang said on Wednesday that it prefers an independent body to investigate the alleged rampant corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
This was after DPWH Secretary Mark Villar created a task force composed of the agency's officials also to probe the alleged corruption in various government projects being handled by the department.
"As you observe, many people doubt if it (Task Force Against Graft and Corruption) can succeed because it's the same people investigating one another. So, we would prefer an independent body," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told CNN Philippines.
He said it could be possible that President Rodrigo Duterte may create another investigating body, similar to the Department of Justice-led inter-agency task force that is now looking into the alleged anomalies in Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.
"It’s not inconceivable that another task force of the DPWH may be formed by the President, in the same way that he formed one for the PhilHealth. But it really all depends on how this new task force will operate, if it is credible, if it can hold individuals accountable for their acts. Because the President has vowed to the nation that he will devote his remaining two years term in office in cleansing the ranks of government," Roque said.
But he said for now Villar's action was a step towards the right direction.
"For now, let’s face it, in any organization we need to have mechanism for internal accountability. Police has it, and I don’t see any reason why the DPWH shouldn’t have one, and that is why we are saying, it’s a step towards the right direction. But this initial step is without prejudice to whatever the President may order in the near future," he added.
Duterte, in his previous televised messages, hit DPWH for the alleged rampant corruption reportedly perpetrated by those handling the agency's projects.
However, he was prompt in clearing Villar, whom he described as "being already rich," of any involvement over the alleged irregularities in the department. Celerina Monte/DMS