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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

29 December 2020 04:43:45 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte revealed the names of government officials allegedly involved in corrupt practices because he recognizes that Filipinos are entitled to know what was in the report submitted by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

However, the President made it clear that there is a presumption of innocence and such announcement was not an indictment. He assured these officials that reading their names “does not mean it’s a condemnation or indictment that you are guilty of something” and that the public should “not take it as gospel truth that it’s true.”

We agree with the President that the public officials implicated in corruption enjoy the presumption of innocence until their conviction or acquittal, whatever the case may be.

Based on reports, the House members mentioned in the PACC list claimed that none of the representatives from PACC have 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.

It is important that the concerned officials be given the chance to respond to the allegations of corrupt practices. Due process dictates that a thorough investigation be conducted to determine whether there is probable cause or evidence to support the charges against them.

Pursuant to due process, we believe that the matter should be brought before the Ombudsman, given the limited jurisdiction of the PACC over officials in the Executive Branch, and not those in the legislature. #