MANILA – Three members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet are being investigated by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) after corruption complaints were lodged against them.
They were Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III, former Bureau of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña and National Commission on Indigenous People chairman Leonor Oralde-Quintayo.
PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna said his office opened an investigation on the three Cabinet members as allegations of corruption against them were brought to PACC last year.
Luna, however, assured the three that the Cabinet members will be given due process and are allowed to answer the allegations. He added that they cannot yet divulge other information regarding their investigation.
“We are not saying they are already guilty,” Luna said. “But all of them will be given due process. Bibigyan sila ng tsansa, ng pagkakataon para ibigay yung kanilang side sa issues na binring against them.”
He added: “Mayroon na kaming preliminary findings pero hindi namin pwedeng i-divulge because this is for the President’s consideration so confidential po siya. Ang Pangulo na ang bahala kung ano ang gagawin niya sa aming mga recommendation.”
The Malacañang, meanwhile, said on Monday that it will allow the investigation of the PACC on three Cabinet members to take its course and will wait for the result of the investigation.
“If there’s evidence, then the President will act on it,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a press conference at the Palace. “There will be no sacred cows in government.”
“If you violate the law, regardless of your status, whether you are a friend, ally or political adversary, a relative or a fraternity brother, you are accountable,” he added./PN