President can assume jurisdiction at any stage cases being probed by PACC under amended EO
The Office of the President could takeover the investigation being conducted by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission against government appointees.
This was contained in Executive Order No. 73, amending EO NO. 43, creating the PACC.
The new EO, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Dec. 28, 2018 but only released to the public on Friday, provides that "nothing" from the latest Order shall 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."
The President could not also be stopped "from assuming jurisdiction at any stage of the proceedings" over cases being investigated by the PACC.
The amended EO also said that the PACC shall recommend to the Anti-Red Tape Authority, for investigation, violations of Republic Act No. 9485, otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, as amended, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
After due investigation, the PACC is tasked to 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 President could also task the PACC to perform other functions or duties.
The issuance of an amended EO came as PACC has said that it has been investigating Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, former Customs Commissioner and now Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Isidro Lapena and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Chairman Leonor Oralde-Quintayo. Celerina Monte/DMS