Duterte names officials under probe for corruption

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday revealed names of government officials suspended and under investigation due to allegations of corruption.

In a media interview, Duterte mentioned several people, including prosecutors and officials from the Department of Justice, Department of Public Works and Highways, Bureau of Customs, and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

On the list, according to Duterte, are prosecutor Samina Macabando-Usman, Benjamin Lanto (Officer-in-charge Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office), Clemente Villanueva, and Florencio dela Cruz and a certain former mayor of Marawi City.  

The President also mentioned  resigned Justice assistant secretary Moslemen Macarambon Sr., Public Works assistant secretary Tingagun Ampaso Umpa, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Division Director Adzhar Albani, NAIA-Customs district collector Ramon Anquilan, and NAIA customs operations officer Lomontod Macabando.

“Suspended silang lahat ngayon pending investigation (They are  all now suspended pending the investigation),” Duterte told reporters.

The President said he would forward the list to the Office of the Ombudsman, which is mandated to investigate and prosecute officials allegedly involved in corrupt practices.

“Mayroon na silang mga kaso pero sa Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission. Mas gusto ko ang Ombudsman para walang masabi,” he said.

In recent months, Duterte has sacked several Cabinet members and top government officials over alleged corrupt practices.

They were Ismael Sueno of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Rodolfo Salalima of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Also asked to resign was Cabinet-ranked Commission on Higher Education Chair Patricia Licuanan, who faced but denied allegations of excessive travel.

Duterte also fired on January 4 Philippine Maritime Industry Authority chief Marcial Amaro 3rd over alleged junkets.

Last week, the President said he recently sacked another official and was about to fire another one.

This came after Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo was reported to have been asked by the President to resign from her post following an advertisement scandal involving her department, state-run People’s Television Network and a media company owned by her brother, Ben Tulfo.

“I have removed many due to corruption. There is a recent one,” Duterte said in his remarks at the oath-taking ceremony of newly promoted generals and flag officers in the military.

He declined to name the official, saying he did not want “to make publicity out of it.”

The President rued the fact that many of those who got implicated in graft were those who regularly went to Davao City to egg him on to run for president in 2016.

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