PACC eyes filing initial cases vs erring gov’t officials next week
MANILA, Philippines—The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said they will begin filing cases against erring government officials next week.
In a public briefing on Thursday (April 15), PAAC Chairman Greco Belgica said they plan to file the initial cases against several officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Bureau of Immigration (BI) once the Office of the Ombudsman resumes operations.
“By next week, pagbukas ng Ombudsman, we will be filing initial cases doon sa mga kaso na nandito sa office. We’re geared up to file a case next week and we are preparing to file more cases in the coming weeks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the DPWH officials previously identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as involved in corruption had been under investigation by the PACC. Belgica said the agency found evidence proving their involvement in illegal activities.
“We have discovered many damning evidence on the officials. However, doon po sa ma legislators na mga involved, ito po ay iti-nurn over na namin sa Department of Justice (DOJ),” he said.
The PACC official said the agency has no jurisdiction over legislators but as for officials in the DPWH, the agency found evidence proving their involvement.
“Napaka ganda po ng investigation. We are currently substantiating with documents and evidence the testimonies na nakuha namin. As expected these are positive results that support the theories that we had. AAC
DPWH begins construction of mega modular hospital in Mandaluyong City
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has begun the groundworks for the construction of the Mega Modular Hospital Project in Mandaluyong City.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the construction is to increase health care capacity and better serve the needs of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.
He reported that the equipment and manpower are now working on-site for the construction of 11 cluster units of modular health facilities which will be located at the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) compound.
“We initiated the construction of the additional pop-up hospital to further augment the country’s healthcare facilities and ensure care is not hampered for Covid-19 patients and to protect the welfare of the Filipino people,” he said.
The project consists of eight cluster units of modular hospital with 176 total bed capacity. In addition, three cluster units of off-site dormitories will be built for hospital personnel and other health service frontliners. AAC
Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge to open in July – DPWH
MANILA, Philippines — The Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge connecting the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong will be opened to vehicular traffic in July, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the bridge rehabilitation project is 89 percent complete and final works are now taking place on the bridge deck.
The bridge was closed in 2019 to undergo rehabilitation. The old temporary steel truss bridge was replaced with a prestressed concrete rigid frame bridge (with V-shape piers) having a four-lane concrete deck slab 506.46 lineal meters in length.
From the old two-way bridge with single lane per direction, the DPWH said a modern infrastructure is about to be completed that will soon be able to accommodate around 50,000 vehicles per day and decongest EDSA traffic.
With the substructure and superstructure completed, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office Operations Emil Sadain said activities now shift focus on the ancillary works on sidewalk for pedestrians and bikers, bridge lighting system, and construction of approach road at both Makati and Mandaluyong sides.
An estimated 20 percent of vehicular traffic at EDSA will be reduced when the BGC’s Lawton-Sta. Monica Bridge opens by June and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge by July, the DPWH said.
The bridge project connecting Estrella Street in Makati City and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong City is one of the two China-grant bridges in Metro Manila.
PACC creates task force to conduct lifestyle checks on gov’t personnel
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