By Julie M. Aurelio, January 12 2019; Philippine Daily Inquirer


Image Credit to Philippine Star

President Rodrigo Duterte now has the power to directly investigate presidential appointees he suspects of corruption.

Duterte signed on Dec. 28 Executive Order No. 73 amending the tasks and powers of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), which he created in 2017.

EO 73 allows Mr. Duterte to step in to investigate government officials for corruption.

“… 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,” part of the directive read.

The President can also assume jurisdiction over cases being investigated by the PACC “at any stage of the proceedings.”

The EO also tasked the PACC to recommend to the President the filing of criminal complaints in the Ombudsman or the Department of Justice.

In the original EO which created the PACC, the body was only directed to refer a case to the Ombudsman only when it is deemed warranted and necessary.

In addition, the PACC was also tasked to probe government officials who cause delays in government processes in violation of Republic Act No. 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. —JULIE M. AURELIO