By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte now has the power to directly investigate his presidential appointee for alleged corruption and assume jurisdiction over the proceedings initiated by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).
The President’s investigative authority was highlighted in latest Executive Order No.73 that amended a 2017 directive that created the anti-corruption commission.
“Nothing will prevent the President, in the interest of the service, from directly investigating and/or hearing an administrative case against any presidential appointee or authorizing other offices under the Office of the President to do the same, as well as from assuming jurisdiction at any stage of the proceedings over cases being investigated by the Commission,” the order read.
EO 73 also granted additional functions of the PACC, including recommending the filing of complaints against officials accused of corruption before proper agencies.
The order was signed on December 28 by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Under the new order, the PACC can “recommend to the Anti-Red Tape Authority for investigation violations of Republic Act 9485 otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 as amended and its implementing rules and regulations.”
It may also “after due investigation recommend to the President the filing of appropriate criminal complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman or the Department of Justice or otherwise refer such cases for appropriate action to these Offices.”
“The Commission shall perform such other functions or duties as may be assigned by the President,” the order added.
In October 2017, Duterte issued EO 43 creating the PACC mandated “to directly assist the President in investigating and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and or corruption against all presidential appointees.”
The commission has the power, on complaint or moto proprio, to investigate and evaluate information on administrative cases against presidential appointees in the executive branch and any agencies occupying the position of assistant regional director or an equivalent rank and higher.
The commission may also, upon the President’s orders, investigate appointees in the military and the police.
It may also conduct lifestyle checks and fact-finding inquiries on acts or omissions of presidential appointees including those outside the executive branch.
The commission is currently chaired by Dante Jimenez of the Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption.