PACC chair Dante Jimenez passes away at 68

Maris Federez   •   January 30, 2021   •   620

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chairperson Dante Jimenez has passed away due to an aortic aneurysm. He was 68.

Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) president Arsenio “Boy” Evangelista confirmed Jimenez’s death on his Facebook page.

“It is with deep sadness the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) officially announces the demise of its Founding Chairman Dante La Jimenez last Friday, January 29, 2021, due to an Aortic Aneurysm,” Evangelista said.

He also shared on his post the official statement of the family of Jimenez.

“We, his family will miss him dearly as we have lost a loving family man and a passionate anti-crime crusader,” the post said.

Jimenez was the founding chairman of VACC before his appointment to PACC in January 2018.

“Chairman Dante leaves behind an irreplaceable void. However, we at VACC will honor his memory by continuing the crusade with a greater sense of purpose and commitment,” the VACC board said.

Malacañang, on Saturday, offered its condolences to Jimenez’s family.

“The Palace expresses its condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Chairperson Dante Jimenez who died of aortic aneurysm last night, January 29, 2021,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

“PACC Chair Jimenez spent most of his productive life advocating a just and peaceful society for Filipinos by fighting criminality and corruption. He believed and shared President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s centerpiece program, which is the campaign against illegal drugs, crime and corruption, and had served the Duterte Administration as Chair of PACC and Co-Chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). He would be dearly missed,” he added. —/mbmf

PACC chief Greco Belgica tests positive for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   August 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chairperson Greco Belgica on Friday confirmed that he has contracted the dreaded novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Nakakalungkot na sa kabila ng ating pag-iingat ay tinamaan pa rin ako ng COVID-19. Tunay ngang hindi biro ang sakit na ito at talagang mapanganib,” Belgica wrote in a post on Facebook.

“Humihingi ako ng dasal para sa aking paggaling at dasal para sa kaligtasan ng lahat,” he added.

He, however, assured the public that he will continue to discharge his duties in fighting corruption.

“Gayunpaman, positibo man tayo sa sakit ay positibo pa rin nating haharapin ang mga hamon ng aking sinumpaang tungkulin na labanan ang katiwalian sa gobyerno,” he said.

Departments tagged by Pacquiao as corrupt, already undergoing probe — PACC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Investigations are already ongoing on the departments mentioned by Senator Manny Pacquiao to be allegedly involved in corruption, according to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

During a public briefing on Monday (July 5), PACC Chairperson Greco Belgica said they are aware of the corruption allegations against government agencies that Pacquiao mentioned, which include the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Belgica, however, said Pacquiao also has new allegations against other agencies which the PACC would also want to investigate.

Belgica said the PACC will review the documents that the Senator sent to their office for further investigation. Pacquiao’s allegations are still not conclusive and would need more investigation and evidence, Belgica added.

“Medyo hilaw po para mag-conclude na mayroon talagang corruption dahil una, iauudit pa iyan. Tsaka mo ide-determine kung sino ang probable na may liability. Tapos kapag na-determine mo na through investigation, tsaka mo pa lang masasabi na mayroon violation dito na pwede mong sampahan at parusahan ang mga accountable officers,” he said.

(It is still early to conclude that there is corruption. Firstly, because there is still a need to audit before determining who has probable liability. Once it is determined through  investigation then we can say there is a violation and you can file charges or impose punishment on accountable officers.)

The PACC official also said that it is important to coordinate with Pacquiao regarding the documents to determine which issues are already investigated or not.

Regarding the DSWD’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the PACC said there are several cases to look into. He said the senator should specify the allegations he wants to investigate as well as provide enough evidence to prove his allegations.

“Malawak po ang SAP, mayroong issue na hindi nabigyan, mayroon issue na nadoble ang nabigyan, may issue diyan na patay na [ang beneficiary]. May issue rin sa Starpay. So ano doon, or mayroon ba siyang bago dahil iyong mga binanggit ko, iniimbestigahan na po namin iyon,” according to Belgica.

(SAP [issues] have a large scope. There is an issue of unpaid SAP, beneficiaries who received double, about beneficiaries who are already deceased. There is also an issue with Starpay. So does the senator have anything new apart from what I mentioned because we are already investigating it.)

“Number 1 the burden of proof resides with him, siya dapat magpatunay sa kaniyang mga alegasyon ng corruption (he should be the one proving his corruption allegations),” Belgica said.

Pacquiao previously claimed that several government departments are involved in corruption.

The senator named these department agencies in his presentation during a briefing on Saturday (July 3) after President Rodrigo Duterte challenged him to prove his claims. -AAC

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

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