Two assistant secretaries allegedly involved in corruption have been asked by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to resign or face getting sacked, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
“The President has advised two Assistant Secretaries to tender their resignations or face termination for corruption,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing before joining President Rodrigo R. Duterte in a send-off ceremony of Filipino scientists who will be conducting maritime research in the Philippine Rise.
Roque said that the two assistant secretaries who were asked to resign are Department of Justice (DOJ) Assistant Secretary Moslemen T. Macarambon Sr. and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Assistant Secretary Tingagun A. Umpa.
Citing investigation results from the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Roque said Macarambon “has regularly been intervening on behalf of suspected smugglers of gold and other precious jewelry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).”
Macarambon was earlier asked by DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra to resign last month.
Meanwhile, results and sworn statements from DPWH investigation show that Umpa allegedly “asked from contractors in the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) area for certain percentages from projects awarded to these contractors.”
Roque said Umpa allegedly committed “grave abuse of power” and “acts of corruption” among others.
Asked if Macarambon and Umpa knew about their forced resignation, Roque said: “I hope by now they know.”
According to Roque, Duterte first mentioned his intention to fire two more assistant secretaries during his visit to the wake of the late former Senator Edgardo Angara.
Roque also said that the Palace will leave it to the Office of the Ombudsman to pursue cases against the two assistant secretaries.
“Ang mga kaso po ay katungkulan na po ng Ombudsman bagamat meron pong imbestigasyon na ginawa ang Department of Justice and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission na pu-puwede po gamitin ng Ombudsman sa kanilang imbestigasyon (A case is the duty of the Ombudsman but the Department of Justice and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission have investigation results which the Ombudsman can use for their own investigation),” Roque said.
The PACC, created by Duterte last October, has the power “to directly assist the President in investigating and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and/or corruption against all presidential appointees.”
Moreover, it has “power, on a complaint, or motu proprio, and concurrently with the Office of the Ombudsman to hear, investigate, receive, gather, and evaluate evidence, intelligence reports and information in administrative cases against all presidential appointees.”
Roque said that at present, the PACC has received 400 complaints. (PNA)