Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday directed the justice department to conduct a sweeping investigation into corruption in all government agencies.
In a televised address, Duterte said “this country continues to be plagued by corruption. I will concentrate the last remaining years of my term fighting corruption, because up to now it has not weakened, but instead has grown stronger.
“It’s like government officials have become useless with the onslaught of corruption.’’
Duterte said he was giving the Department of Justice the authority to decide which corruption allegation against any government agency or official to investigate, with priority given to agencies that impact the delivery of government services.
“The department shall prosecute and file the appropriate charges against all those involved in the anomalies investigated, whether against the government or a private person.’’
While eradicating corruption has been one of Duterte’s campaign promises, his administration has been hit by scandals involving allegations of graft and irregularities since he became president in 2016.
He has fired several officials, including some close allies, over allegations of corruption, and stressed that officials cannot escape accountability by resigning.
Duterte noted that officials accused of graft in the country’s national health insurance corporation have been quitting their posts amid an investigation.