DOJ chief vows zero tolerance for corrupt employees
Posted: 2016-Nov-22 09.28.58 UTC+0800
Updated: 2021-Jul-22 16.12.51 UTC+0800
Updated: 2021-Jul-22 16.12.51 UTC+0800
MANILA — Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday vowed to implement a zero tolerance policy for corrupt employees of the DOJ and its attached agencies in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-corruption campaign.
Aguirre made the announcement during the Monday's flag ceremony following the call of some employees for his removal as Justice Secretary over his efforts to wipe out corruption in the agency.
He said just like President Duterte who has vowed a zero tolerance approach to corruption, he would also do the same at the DOJ and its attached agencies, namely Bureau of Corrections, Bureau of Immigrations, National Bureau of Investigations, Parole and Probation Administration, Presidential Commission on Good Government, Public Attorney's Office, Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, Office of the Solicitor General and the Land Registration Authority.
Aguirre said he will prioritize President Duterte's marching orders given to him upon assumption of office such as weeding out corruption and other illegal activities and prioritizing the resolution of drug-related charges and heinous crimes.
"It has come to our attention that there are some disgruntled DOJ employees who want to derail President Duterte's war on Corruption. The same misguided and tarnished employees are not in full accord with some of the actions undertaken by my office lately," Aguirre said.
According to Aguirre, some employees also paint his actions with colors of personal persecution as they claim that they are being targeted whimsically and capriciously.
"There is no truth to that. We will adopt a business like approach in pursuing the corrupt. We will prosecute. We will never persecute. Nothing more, nothing less," he said.
The DOJ Chief said those employees plotting his ouster are the "misguided few" allegedly involved in corrupt activities to the detriment of the majority who are just doing their job and fulfilling their mandate.
"There are reports that the same disgruntled DOJ employees are plotting my ouster from the DOJ. To the plotters, let me say this to you. I did not ask to be appointed to the DOJ. I did not seek this appointment. I will not even lose a single night's sleep if this post is taken away from me. I might even be thankful if I am removed," he noted.
While he is aware of plans to oust him, Aguirre warned those behind these plots not to use government resources.
"I know that some of you have been meeting on government time and have been using government resources to plot my ouster. Henceforth, you can meet and you can plot, that is your right, but never again on government time and never again using government resources," said Aguirre.
"Valuable government time and government resources must only be used to serve the interest of justice and of the Filipino people. It must never be used to hatch the self serving plots of the corrupt few. Go against my proscription, and I will stop you!"
"For as long as I have President Duterte's full confidence, trust and unwavering support in pursuing his mandate, I will fully exercise the powers and the prerogatives of my office in achieving the thrusts of the Duterte administration and in serving the Filipino people in the best way that I can," he added.
He said that the government would now start the second part of its drive to cleanse the bureaucracy of erring officials and employees by targeting those involved in corrupt activities.
While ha admitted that the war against corruption cannot be won without the help and participation of the DOJ rank-and-file employees, Aguirre appealed to them for help by providing information on the corrupt activities of some of their co-workers.
"I do not want to be a hypocrite. I will not, and I cannot, weed out corruption in other government offices, if our own backyard is dirty. We have to clean house first. There must be no white washed tomb in any office in the DOJ. I call upon everyone who personally knew the corrupt acts of some DOJ personnel to join us in our efforts to better the DOJ," he said.
It can be recalled that upon his assumption of the post, Aguirre said he will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any DOJ personnel involved in corruption and other illicit activities.
For those who have knowledge on employees who were corrupt, Aguirre advised "I call upon everyone who personally know the corrupt acts of some DOJ personnel to join us in our efforts to better the DOJ. My office is always open to you. Come to us. Tell us. Work with us. I once asked you to walk with, that offer remains. Heed the clarion call." (PNA)