- President Rodrigo Duterte refused to reveal the names of lawmakers allegedly accepting ‘kickbacks’ from project contracts
- He said it is not within his jurisdiction to probe due to separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of the government
- Duterte earlier warned that he will publicly name government officials linked to corruption
President Rodrigo Duterte explained why he cannot probe on lawmakers linked to alleged corrupt activities.
Following the President’s crackdown on corruption in the government, Duterte said he cannot reveal the names of some congressmen allegedly getting kickbacks from project contractors. According to the President, he has no jurisdiction over members of Congress due to separation of powers.
He said, “I have no business investigating congressmen. They belong to a separate organ of government which is co-equal with the President pati ang Supreme Court.”
This came after Duterte received a list from Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chief Greco Belgica of names of congressmen who allegedly ask commissions from contractors. Duterte refused to make the list public and said he has no choice but to forward it to the Ombudsman for investigation.
“Kung itapon mo sa akin, I have no other recourse, itapon ko rin yan doon sa Ombudsman because it is the only investigating agency that has jurisdiction over congressmen. Hindi ako (Not me). I cannot investigate congressmen, that would be an encroachment of the power of the separation,” he said.
Duterte clarified he’s not covering up some of his allies from possible anomalies but the task was just not within the jurisdiction of his powers.
“I’m not trying to wash my hands. I am now dwelling on the law… If I cannot investigate the congressmen then I have no authority to be releasing their names that they are involved per investigation by the PACC,” he added.
Earlier, Senator Bong Go warned that the President will publicly name government officials who are involved in corruption.