Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Lawmakers tagged by Duterte cry ‘witch hunt’

SEVERAL lawmakers accused by President Rodrigo R. Duterte of corruption denied the allegations against them on Tuesday.

Mr. Duterte in a televised talk on Monday named nine lawmakers and district engineers involved in alleged corruption related to the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) infrastructure projects.

Before reading the names on a “public document” prepared by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), the President said there was no substantial evidence to back the PACC’s claim.

The lawmakers merely appeared to be in connivance with the supposed corrupt officials at the DPWH and district engineers, the President claimed, citing instances of ghost projects and an “enrollment fee” of P12 million before a project could be awarded to a contractor.

Among the lawmakers mentioned were Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Y. Ramirez Sato, Quezon City Rep. Alfred D. Vargas, Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry S. Oaminal, Isabela Rep. Alyssa Sheena P. Tan, Northern Samar Rep. Paul R. Daza, Quezon Rep. Angelina D. Tan, ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric G. Yap, Bataan Rep. Geraldine B. Roman, and former Ifugao Rep. Teddy B. Baguilat, Jr.

Mr. Yap, chairman of the House appropriations committee, challenged PACC Commissioner Greco B. Belgica to file a case before the Office of the Ombudsman instead of “resorting to witch-hunting” and trial by publicity. 

Mr. Yap currently serves as the legislative caretaker of Benguet.

According to the PACC report read by the President,  Mr. Yap allegedly rigged the bidding process for an infrastructure project in the province “through his agent” and exerted influence in choosing his district engineer to be able to manipulate the awarding of projects in the district assigned to him. 

The lawmaker, however, denied the allegations. “They said that I meddled with the biddings for infrastructure projects, what I want to say is I have never been involved in the bidding. When I came to Benguet as its legislative caretaker on January 27 this year, all biddings had already been completed,” he said in Filipino in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The lawmaker said the House of Representatives will initiate in January a legislative inquiry into accusations against Mr. Belgica to let him “clear his name” before the public.

Workers of Duty Free Philippines Corp. in October filed criminal and administrative complaints against Mr. Belgica before the anti-corruption body for allegedly using their cases against the company to develop ties with its management for his personal gain.

Mr. Belgica is currently facing charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to service, gross inexcusable negligence and violations of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Other lawmakers tagged in the report have also denied and slammed the accusations.

Ms. Tan, for her part, said she has “never owned any construction company” and does not have any shares in any construction company.

“This truth can easily be verified by the PACC by simply checking and validating with the concerned government agencies that they surely have access to,” she said.

The lawmaker said her inclusion in the list is “not only malicious but also prejudicial.”

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Tuesday said the agency’s task force against corruption already submitted to the President on Monday “an update on its ongoing investigations,” in which the names mentioned in the PACC’s list “were likewise mentioned.”

Mr. Guevarra said the Office of the President (OP) may refer the report to the agency’s task force against corruption for “validation, further investigation, or case build-up.”

“I’ll wait for OP’s referral, if ever. If the PACC report is already complete (in proper form with supporting evidence), that can be directly filed at the Ombudsman,” he said in a Viber message to reporters in mixed English and Filipino.

House Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco, meanwhile, defended the President’s revelation saying Filipinos “are entitled” to know what’s in the PACC report.

“The President made it clear that there is a presumption of innocence and such announcement was not an indictment,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mr. Velasco said House members in the PACC report claimed that no one from the agency invited them for questioning.

“It appears that the PACC has not made any investigation as to the veracity of the accusations against them since they belong to another branch of government, which is not within the authority of the Commission.”

The House leader said the concerned officials are entitled to due process.

“Due process dictates that a thorough investigation be conducted to determine whether there is probable cause or evidence to support the charges against them,” Mr. Velasco said, adding that the case should be brought before the Ombudsman. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States is seeking to form a coalition of countries to drive negotiations on a global plastic pollution treaty, weeks...


By Diego Gabriel C. Robles  THE WORLD BANK (WB) upgraded its growth forecast for the Philippines for this year and 2023, citing an “accommodative”...


THE PHILIPPINE auto industry’s sales recovery will likely be derailed if a measure reimposing excise taxes on pickup trucks is signed into law, according...


THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) may deliver a second off-cycle rate hike in early November when the US Federal Reserve is expected to...


THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) is planning to allocate at least $14 billion for a program aimed at easing a food crisis in the...


With the reversal of the 1.25% rise in National Insurance Contributions happening on the 6th of November, employers across the nation have an opportunity...

You May Also Like


Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...


The minute that any question pops into your head, you can simply ask Google. No longer do we have to pour over books and...


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...


Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.