Bong Go seeks creation of inter-agency task force vs. corruption

To combat all forms of systemic corruption plaguing the bureaucracy

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said he will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the creation of an inter-agency task force that will employ a whole-of-government approach in the ongoing efforts of putting an end to deep-rooted, systemic corruption plaguing the whole bureaucracy.

This came after reports of continuing prevalent corruption in numerous agencies, including the Department of Public Works and Highways, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, PhilHealth and even in the agriculture sector through reported rice smuggling, among others.

Go said the proposed task force may be modeled after the previous task force created to investigate PhilHealth. Its scope, however, should cover all government agencies and should be allowed to operate until President Duterte ends his term in 2022.

Go narrated that he recently discussed the matter with the President who gave directives to intensify further the campaign against corruption and put an end to the continuing existence of anomalous practices plaguing the bureaucracy.

Go emphasized that President Duterte enjoys overwhelmingly high approval ratings because Filipinos see the sincerity and seriousness of his leadership to improve public service delivery by putting an end to corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.

In his previous pronouncements, President Duterte pointed out the presence of corruption in the DPWH, prompting DPWH Secretary Mark Villar to come up with an internal special task force that will look into these allegations. Go lauded Villar’s decision, calling it a step towards the right direction, but recommended that a whole-of-government approach is necessary to solve this issue.

Go said that eradicating corruption must involve all concerned agencies, with the help of the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, as well as all branches of government. Similar to the Task Force on PhilHealth, Go recommends that this inter-agency body will be mandated to investigate all agencies plagued by systemic corruption, prosecute and file charges, audit funds, conduct lifestyle checks, recommend suspensions, and put in jail those proven guilty.

Go said that there should be “no sacred cows” and every official must take responsibility in cleansing their ranks. He also recommended imposing preventive suspensions on suspected corrupt officials in order to preserve the integrity of the probe.

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