Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Anti-graft body not in operation five months since Duterte’s urgent vow

Read this fact check in Filipino

President Rodrigo Duterte five months ago vowed to form an anti-corruption commission in a “race against time.”

His spokesperson is now singing a different tune.

STATEMENT

In a speech Aug. 29, Duterte announced the creation of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC):

“I shall be creating an anti-graft commission soon to investigate complaints of corruption in government. At ito is, uh, habulan ng panahon (And this is a race against time). I do not want investigations to last more than...one month.”

Source: Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the Oath Taking of Newly Appointed Officials, Aug. 29, 2017, Malacañang Palace, watch from 38:57 to 39:12

Duterte accused the Office of the Ombudsman, the constitutional body mandated to investigate corruption in government, of holding up cases; hence, the need for a separate commission:

“Problem is, you have to file it with the Ombudsman. And that is where the game begins again. Delay all others. I’m not saying that all. I’m not even saying… I could not, I could not say that (Ombudsman Conchita Carpio) Morales is involved. But huwag kayong maniwala diyang (don’t believe the) Ombudsman na ‘yan.”

Source: Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the Oath Taking of Newly Appointed Officials, Aug. 29, 2017, Malacañang Palace, watch from 39:17 to 39:34

The president added:

“That’s why I shall be creating the anti-graft commission to investigate complaints of corruption in government. Aside from the results of the investigation supported by competent evidence, I shall either suspend or dismiss presidential appointees.”

Source: Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the Oath Taking of Newly Appointed Officials, Aug. 29, 2017, Malacañang Palace, watch from 40:00 to 40:14

On Oct. 4, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 43, creating the PACC.

FACT

PACC is not yet in operation, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque in a media briefing Jan. 9, said:

“It’s been established but it hasn’t been constituted.”

Source: Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jan. 9, 2018, Malacañang Palace, watch from 8:39 to 8:41

Roque added that the president “has gone ahead and fired” many appointees even without the aid of the PACC, contradicting the seeming urgency of Duterte’s earlier statement:

“But the president has not waited for its constitution before he has started actually the purging of corrupt officials in government. As you know, with, even without the commission he has gone ahead and fired many of his presidential appointees.”

Source: Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jan. 9, 2018, Malacañang Palace, watch from 8:42 to 8:56

Asked further if the people can still expect the PACC to be formed, Roque said:

“It believes so. But he is not waiting for its constitution before he moves against corruption. He has shown that with or without it, he has a firm resolve against corruption and he will implement it.”

Source: Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jan. 9, 2018, Malacañang Palace, watch from 8:59 to 9:09

On Jan. 4, Roque announced that Duterte fired Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Marcial Amaro III for making 24 foreign trips in his 18 months in office.

Earlier, Duterte terminated Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor Chairman Terry Ridon and other top officials for “unnecessary junkets” and for failing to meet as a collegial body.


Sources

Executive Order No. 43, s. 2017

Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jan. 4, 2018

Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jan. 9, 2018

Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Dec. 12, 2017

Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the Oath Taking of Newly Appointed Officials


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative.)

Share the Facts

FOR FURTHER READING

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: PHL’s notice of withdrawal from ICC is the latest in a string of inconsistent Palace responses to war on drugs probe

Palace spokesperson Roque earlier claimed he discussed the ICC probe 'extensively' with Duterte who…

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Anti-graft body, hindi pa rin nabubuo limang buwan mula nang mangako si Duterte

Ang PACC ay wala pang operasyon, sinabi ni Palace spokesperson Harry Roque sa isang media briefing.

VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Timeline of anti-graft bodies through the years

Different commissions under different administrations have been set up to investigate corruption.

About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]