PACC must now recommend filing of charges with Ombudsman
MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is now ordered to recommend the filing of criminal complaints against corrupt officials with the Office of the Omubdsman.
This is one of the new tasks of the Duterte-formed PACC under Executive Order No 73, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 28, 2018, but made public on Friday, January 11. The new order amends EO No 43 (series of 2017) which created the PACC.
Under EO 73, the PACC, “after due investigation,” is to recommend to the President the filing of criminal complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman or the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In the original EO, the PACC is only ordered to refer a case to the Office of the Ombudsman, and only when it “deems it warranted and necessary.” It may also investigate, evaluate evidence and intelligence reports on presidential appointees “concurrently with the Office of the Ombudsman.”
The PACC also has another new task under the new EO – looking into government officials who cause undue delays and red tape in government processes.
The commission is to recommend to the Anti-Red Tape Authority the investigation of officials who violate Republic Act No 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.
Bureaucratic red tape is among the major pet peeves of Duterte. He often rants about officials who sit on documents or who demand payments from citizens for the release of permits or licenses.
Another major amendment is that Duterte can now step in to investigate governmeent officials himself.
“The preceding paragraphs notwithstanding, nothing shall prevent the President, in the interest of the service, from directly investigating and/or hearing an administrative case against any presidential appointee or authorizing other offices under the Office of the President to do the same.”
Duterte can also assume jurisdiction over cases being probed by the PACC “at any stage of the proceedings.”
This means Duterte can step in any time to personally look into his own appointees suspected of corruption. – Rappler.com