Expanded task force whole-of-gov’t approach vs. corruption: Go

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MANILA – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Friday said the recently created expanded inter-agency task force to address the systemic corruption in government agencies shows President Rodrigo Duterte’s firm commitment to deliver real change before his term ends through a holistic and whole-of-government approach in fighting corruption.

This, he said, will not overlap with the functions of existing anti-corruption agencies and constitutional bodies, such as the Office of the Ombudsman.

During an interview, Go said while the Ombudsman has its own constitutional mandate to address issues of corruption, the Department of Justice—which leads the newly created task force— also has its own mandate and mechanisms to look into systemic corruption in government.

“It may also create as many panels as it deems necessary, and direct other government agencies to assist or be part of its panels, such as the Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit, and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, among others,” he added.

Go also assured that the expanded task force will not just investigate, but will also file charges, prosecute, conduct lifestyle checks, recommend suspensions, and put in jail the erring officials found guilty of corruption.

The senator recommended to the President the creation of a new task force with an expanded scope to investigate reported anomalies in any government agency. The task force will also operate until Duterte’s term ends in 2022.

“Towards the last one year and eight months of this administration, we must not hesitate in our quest to eradicate corruption,” he added.

President Duterte repeatedly expressed exasperation due to the prevalent corruption issues, which he believed compromised the ability of the government to provide the much-needed services to the people at a time when a global pandemic is draining the nation’s coffers.

Go, who serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Health, believed the ongoing corruption also hampers the country’s ability to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

He also commended the government and the Filipino public for their cooperation, which resulted in the country ranking high on the Washington-based analytics and advisory firm Gallup’s 2020 Global Law and Order report.

“I commend the people of the Republic of the Philippines sa kanilang kooperasyon sa gobyerno (for their cooperation with the government),” Go said.

Gallup’s report is based on the people’s sense of personal security and experiences with crime and law enforcement in the country

According to the news reports, those who were surveyed provided positive responses to the law enforcement agencies in the Philippines. They also gave positive feedback that law enforcement authorities are doing their work.

Ito po ay isang testamento na patunay na totoo ating kampanya laban sa iligal na droga, kriminalidad at korapsyon sa bansa (This is a testament that our campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption in the country)” he said.

He added that overseas Filipino parents, for example, now have peace of mind knowing that their children back in the Philippines are safe and secure.

“‘Yung OFWs natin na nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa ay may peace of mind sila para sa mga anak nila na naiwan dito sa Pilipinas (Our countrymen working abroad have now a peace of mind regarding their children whom they left here in the Philippines),” he said. (PR)

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