2 National Museum officials arrested for extortion

Maris Federez   •   August 20, 2019   •   2236

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) have arrested two high-ranking officials of the National Museum.

The two were involved in extortion in exchange of permits issued by the agency, particularly on treasure hunting.

According to the PACC, the two officials had been extorting money from the complainant who has a pending application for treasure hunting permit at the agency.

The two were asking for P120,000 from the applicant for a permit that only costs P3,000.

“So pumunta sa amin iyong complainant then we set up this entrapment operations with the NBI.  Malaki hong halaga iyan for these permits dahil legal fees hindi naman aabot yan ng ganoon kalaki,” said PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica.

The two were identified as Ernesto Toribio Jr, chief of the National Museum Treasure Hunting Section, and Angel Toribio, acting Director and Curator II of the museum’s Cultural Properties Division.

The PACC believes that there is a possibility that extortion has already become rampant at the National Museum as there are no clear guidelines on the process of application permits such as in treasure hunting.

With this, the PACC is urging the National Museum administration to streamline its requirements for permit applications.

PACC will file bribery, extortion, and conspiracy against the two officials. (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

PACC creates task force to conduct lifestyle checks on gov’t personnel

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — In line with the national government’s intensified efforts to fight corruption in the country, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has created Task Force on Lifestyle Check.

PACC Chairman Greco Belgica said the task force will focus on officials who are always reported to be involved in anomalies but there are no documents or evidence that can prove such allegations.

Belgica said through lifestyle checks, the agency will be able to determine inconsistencies in their wealth or if there are any undeclared properties.

Ganyan po ang korapsyon, talagang tagong-tago iyan (That’s how corruption works, it is very discreet). However, by looking at their bank accounts, their properties, their SALN [Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth]—kung ang kanilang gastos at ari-arian ay hindi commensurate sa kanilang kinikita sila po ay pwedeng kasuhan (and if their expenses and properties do not commensurate with their income, they can be held accountable),he said.

The PACC is also coordinating with local authorities and other government agencies in validating reports of anomalies or corruption in various government agencies around the country.

Belgica reminds government officials and personnel to declare their properties with honesty. He reiterated that unexplained wealth is a violation of the law.

“Living beyond your means that you cannot explain and yet you are spending like a billionaire, millionaire that is highly questionable,” he said. AAC

PACC to focus on investigating top officials allegedly involved in corruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said it will focus its efforts on investigating top officials in the government who are allegedly involved in corruption.

In a public briefing on Tuesday (April 27), PACC Chairman Greco Belgica said the agency is ready to file cases against government officials to the Office of the Ombudsman once its office reopens on May 2.

He said that they have been receiving reports of alleged corruption involving high-ranking government officials and that the PACC is set to file a case.

“In the last phase of the campaign against corruption of the President, we will be concentrating on high-value targets. Ito ang mga matataas na presidential appointees na hanggang ngayon ayaw pa rin tumigil sa korapsyon (These are high presidential appointees which until now are still involved in corruption),” he said.

Pagkabukas na pagkabukas ng Ombudsman, we will start filing cases. Marami na po kaming nakabangko (Once the Office of the Ombudsman opens, we will start filing cases. We already have a number of cases ready),” he added

Belgica also announced that the PACC has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) last week to fight red tape and corruption in the government as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s intensified campaign against corruption.

He said the two agencies will coordinate in investigating, including filing cases against proven corrupt officials. They will also submit recommendations and reports to President regarding the matter.

“We are putting the fight against corruption in all fronts by putting in command groups and command centers para mabilis na maaksyunan, marespondehan ang mga reports on corruption (to immediately respond and take action on reports on corruption),” he said. -AAC

PACC receives 8,000 complaints on cash aid distribution

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Around 8,000 complaints on cash aid distribution have been received by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

The PACC, on Thursday (April 15), said during the rollout of the cash aid distribution the agency already received around 8,000 complaints.

PAAC Chairman Greco Belgica said the agency is already coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to discuss the said reports.

Nakakalungkot, we have just received 8,000 reports tungkol dito. Sina-summarize namin ang reports para sa gagawing meeting with the DILG, para maaksyunan, ma-imbestigahan, makasuhan (It is saddening, we have just received 8,000 reports regarding this matter. We are summarizing the reports for our meeting with the DILG for immediate action, investigation, and for the immediate filing of cases),” he said.

Belgica reiterated the need to increase monitoring during the distribution process in order to avoid any form of anomalies.

Titingnan po namin ang sistemang gagamitin nila bukod sa mga complaints. Monitoring has to be strengthened para maiwasan ang mga ganito (We will look into the system used by the [DILG] aside from the complaints received. Monitoring has to be strengthened to avoid these issues),” he said.

The PACC officials expressed alarm on the number of complaints. He noted that during the previous cash aid distribution, the PACC received around 9,000 complaints. During the recent cash distribution, the agency already received 8,000 complaints.

Belgica advises officials not to take the money especially when families affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic are finding it difficult to get by.

Kaunti na lang po iyan para po sa kanila, para po sa kanilang pamilya para mabuhay. Ibigay na po natin sa kanila iyan dahil kung pinakialaman po natin iyan (The cash aid is not much, it is for the public and their families in order to survive. Give it to them because if you took advantage and we will find out [about it]) we will make sure you will be accountable to it,” he warned. AAC

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