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Nothing wrong with shaming Bello, Lapeña, Oralde-Quintayo in corruption probe – PACC

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The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is allowed to disclose information about the status of cases being pursued against government officials, its commissioner said on Thursday.

PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna made this statement after Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the three Cabinet officials tagged in corruption cases should have been given a chance to respond to allegations before being exposed.

Luna earlier announced that his agency is investigating Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, former Bureau of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Chairman Leonor Oralde-Quintayo for alleged corruption.

Citing Executive Order No. 43 creating the PACC, Luna said the PACC was acting within its mandate by revealing the names of the three Cabinet executives being investigated.

“Sec. 11 of EO 43 allows disclosures of status of cases and other info provided these disclosures are fair and balanced, which is the case of the three Cabinet men under probe,” Luna said in a message to reporters.

Luna pointed out that even the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice (DOJ) would disclose information on cases.

“PACC acted in accordance with its mandate. Even the Ombudsman and the DOJ give updates on pending complaints or cases, especially high-profile ones,” he said.

EO 43, signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Oct. 4, 2017, mandates the commission “to directly assist the President in investigating and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and or corruption against all presidential appointees.”

In creating the PACC, the EO cited the Administration’s continuing mandate to fight and eradicate graft and corruption in government and ensure that all public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worthy of public trust.

The EO also states that the commission shall “have the power, on complaint or motu proprio (on its own), and concurrently with the Office of the Ombudsman, to hear, investigate, receive, gather, and evaluate evidence, intelligence reports, and information in administrative cases against all presidential appointees in the Executive Branch of the government and any of its agencies and instrumentalities occupying the position of assistant regional director or an equivalent rank and higher.” (PNA)