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Give DPWH-led task force chance to address anomalies: Palace

October 20, 2020 - Tuesday 8:10 PM by PNA

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MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday asked the public to give the Department of Public Works and Highways-led task force a "chance" to address alleged corruption hounding the agency.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar on Monday issued a department order forming the Task Force Against Graft and Corruption (TAG), made up of five officials to investigate anomalies allegedly committed by officials and employees inside the agency, based on valid complaints.

"Siguro po pangunang hakbang lang iyan na ginawa ng DPWH para nga i-address iyong problema ng korapsiyon na nilabas ng ating Presidente, so pagbigyan naman po natin sila (This may be the first step the DPWH is taking to address the corruption that the President revealed. Let's give them a chance to work on this)," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roques said in a presser.

In his Talk to the Nation last week, Duterte said corruption is embedded in the public works projects.

"Let’s give them a chance dahil sa aking pagkakaalam talagang this is one of the rare moments na ina-address natin ang korapsiyon diyan sa DPWH na ang sabi nga ni Presidente ay lantaran at parang systemic (because based on my knowledge this is of the rare moments that we are addressing corruption inside DPWH which, as the President described, is overt and appear to be systemic)," Roque said.

Roque said Malacañang would welcome any findings the DPWH-initiated task force would submit.

"Of course, welcome po talaga lahat ng mga findings ng task force na iyan. At sa publiko po ‘no, ulitin ko po 8888 o ‘di naman kaya ipadala ninyo lang dito sa ating tanggapan at napakadami na pong cases ng korapsiyon na nakarating sa ating tanggapan na nabigyan po ng solusyon (we will welcome all the findings of the task force. For the public, I'm reminding you to report any corruption you may know on 8888 or send it to our office so that we could find a solution)," he said.

Duterte on Monday criticized the alleged anomalies inside DPWH but cleared Villar of corruption in public works projects.

"Karamihan diyan sa DPWH mga project engineers. Diyan ang --- sa baba ang tala... Si Villar, mayaman. Secretary Villar, maraming pera ‘yan. Hindi niya kailangan mangurakot. Ang problema sa baba, malakas pa rin hanggang ngayon (Most of the people there are project engineers. It really is on the ground... Villar is rich, he has a lot of money. He doesn't need to engage in corruption. The problem is on the ground, it remains rampant)," he said.

Duterte suggested putting up a "structure" inside the agency to improve the integrity of DPWH projects. He likewise encouraged the public to report irregularities by utilizing the 8888 hotline.

"Puwede ninyong ma-report maski ano basta corruption and walang patawad. I do not forgive cases sa mga corruption. Wala talaga. Walang areglo, wala lahat (You can report any suspicions of corruption and I won't forgive. I do not forgive cases where corruption is involved). No quarters given, no quarters asked," he stressed. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora