Tue. May 11th, 2021
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.twitter.com)

The House Committee on Appropriations will conduct a probe on agencies laden with alleged graft with the aim of slashing their budgets.

In an online briefing, ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap said the House Committee on Appropriations can even go as far as scrapping the budgets of the agencies with alleged massive graft.

“We have oversight functions and as appropriations chair, we will make sure that the budget being given to [state agencies] is properly used and not in corruption,” he told reporters.

He added the probe will take place in the next two to three weeks that the Senate will deliberate the P4.5-trillion proposed national budget contained in the General Appropriation Bill that the House approved last October 14, 2020.

After determining which agencies are allegedly graft-ridden, Yap’s committee will determine the other agencies that are free of graft, and the latter agencies will be given more funds.

The move of the House to probe agencies allegedly laden with graft and reduce the budgets comes after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate allegations of corruption “in the entire government.”

In a pre-recorded speech aired Tuesday, Duterte read out loud a directive giving the DOJ authority to decide which allegations to investigate.

He, however, said he wanted the DOJ to have a special focus on the corrupt-ridden Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“It may create as many panels as it deems necessary or adequate and may invite or direct other bodies or agencies of the government to assist or be part of such panel,” he said.

He said the DOJ may also prosecute and file appropriate charges against those involved in anomalies investigated whether against the government or private person as may be warranted by evidence gathered.

“The power and authority of the DOJ under existing laws and previous directives to investigate the commission of crimes and prosecute violators shall not in any way be diminished by this directive,” he added.

Duterte said the directive would be in effect until June 30, 2022 unless sooner lifted or revoked. SOVEREIGNPH

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