No sacred cows in Duterte’s fight vs corruption: Palace official, 18 Dec. 2016

A Malacañan official on Sunday assured that no one will be spared in the current administration’s fight against corruption.

Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said anyone who engages in corrupt activities will be punished even if they are relatives or friends of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“He (President Duterte) is very vocal about — even mga brod niya, mga kasamahan niya, kapamilya niya who would be engaged in corruption would not be spared,” Banaag said in an interview over government-run Radyo ng Bayan

The Palace official was reacting to the President’s move to fire his two law school fraternity brothers, Immigration Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, for alleged involvement in a multi-million bribery scandal.

Argosino and Robles were accused of extorting P50 million from gambling magnate Jack Lam, who allegedly resorted to bribery to facilitate the release of thousands of undocumented Chinese nationals who work in Fontana Leisure Park and Casino in Pampanga, which he operated.

Banaag brushed off speculations that the dismissal of the two BI officials would spare them from legal liability.

She said charges will be filed against the two depending on the result of the investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“We will wait for the investigation report of the DOJ if and when there is probable cause to file a criminal complaint,” she said.

Meanwhile, Banaag was also asked what will be the government’s next step following President Duterte’s warning to revoke the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

She said the public should wait for the next move of Duterte regarding the matter.###PND