“If there is no hard evidence, why would you name them?” Vice president Leni Robredo, a lawyer, said in her weekly program over dzXL. “The best thing to do if there are reports (of anomalies) is to conduct an investigation.” The STAR/Krizjohn Rosales, file
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo said yesterday she does not agree with President Duterte’s naming of current and former congressmen allegedly involved in corruption related to public works projects.
“If there is no hard evidence, why would you name them?” Robredo, a lawyer, said in her weekly program over dzXL. “The best thing to do if there are reports (of anomalies) is to conduct an investigation.”
Last week, Duterte revealed the names of eight incumbent congressmen and one former legislator who were linked to alleged corruption in public works projects, including kickbacks and influence peddling.
The allegations were based on reports submitted to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, which forwarded its report to him.
The President also ordered the relief of about a dozen district engineers of the Department of Public Works and Highways, who were linked to the alleged anomalies.
Duterte, who is also a lawyer and former prosecutor, stressed that the inclusion of lawmakers and engineers in the list does not automatically mean they are guilty of wrongdoing.
The congressmen accused of conniving with district engineers to commit corruption are Josephine Ramirez Sato of Occidental Mindoro, former lawmaker Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao, Alfredo Paolo Vargas of the 5th district of Quezon City, Henry Oaminal of Misamis Occidental (also a deputy speaker), Alyssa Sheena Tan of the 4th district of Isabela, Paul Daza of the 1st district of Northern Samar, Angelina Helen Tan of the 4th district of Quezon province, Eric Yap of ACT-CIS party-list, who is also caretaker of the Benguet congressional district, and Geraldine Roman of the first district of Bataan.
Duterte said the list given to him does not necessarily constitute evidence against the lawmakers.
“I just want to assure everybody that the reading of your name is not a condemnation or an indictment that you are guilty of something. In the same manner that I would tell the people that do not take it as gospel truth,” he said.
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star
January 4, 2021 – 12:00am