MANILA, Philippines — Nearly four months after President Rodrigo Duterte declared that he would create an anti-corruption commission under his office, whose task would include investigating the “biased and corrupt” Office of the Ombudsman, the chief executive finally appointed the officials of the body last Friday, January 12.
Dante Lazaro Jimenez, the founding chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), who earlier threatened Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales with impeachment, was named by Duterte as chair of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.
Last December, the VACC submitted to the House of Representatives an impeachment complaint against Morales, which found no endorser.
Meanwhile, the three commissioners appointed by the chief executive are:
1. Greco Antonious Beda Banta Belgica, former councilor of Manila and losing senatorial candidate, who in March 2017 filed a disbarment case against Morales, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court the same month.
2. Gregorio Luis “Ted” Credo Contacto III, a CPA-lawyer, who was lead counsel for the PDP-Laban Party Martin Diño in early 2016 in relation to the poll disqualification cases filed against then mayor and presidential candidate Duterte, which was junked by the Commission on Elections.
Also, Contacto is the PDP-Laban’s Bicol council president.
3. Rickson L. Chiong, from Jolo, Sulu, retired in 2014 as National Bureau of Investigation deputy director for Technical Services.
Last September, days after it was reported that the Ombudsman’s office would be investigating Duterte’s alleged hidden wealth, the chief executive retaliated and said that he would also investigate the “biased and corrupt” institution.
READ RELATED STORY: Duterte to set up commission to probe ‘corrupt, biased’ Office of the Ombudsman