PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, May 16, said he wants the anti-graft office to conduct the investigation on government officials suspected of corruption.
Duterte told Palace reporters that he preferred not to handle the cases so as to avoid having to deal with objections from the concerned officials. He said the Office of the Ombudsman must conduct the investigation.
"They are all suspended now pending investigation," the President said on the sidelines of his meeting with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neil.
"But all of these (their names), I will forward it to the Ombudsman... We are not the one who will investigate. It must be the Ombudsman... I want the Ombudsman so they will not object," he added.
Malacañang has yet to release a copy of list containing the names of the government officials who are being investigated by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), a fact-finding body that is tasked to hear administrative cases and complaints hurled against any government official or employee.
Duterte named some of these officials, including Justice Assistant Secretary Moslemen Macarambon Sr. and Public Works Assistant Secretary Tingagon Umpa, who were ordered suspended pending the investigation.
Duterte's pronouncement comes a day after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. revealed that the Chief Executive wanted Macarambon and Umpa to either "resign" or "face termination" for their supposed involvement in corruption.
The President's firing spree has continued in a bid to fulfill his commitment to fight corruption in government under his watch.
His anti-corruption drive has so far led to the dismissal of various public officials, including his allies, former Local Government secretary Ismael Sueno, former National Irrigation Authority administrator Peter Laviña, and former Information Communications Technology secretary Rodulfo Salalima.
Among the officials who have resigned amid allegations of corruption is former Tourism secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo. (SunStar Philippines)