Justice Dept. eyes placing Ombudsman reps in gov't agencies

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The Department of Justice is mulling the placement of senior investigating officers from the Ombudsman in government agencies to aid its probe on erring officials, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 21) — The Department of Justice is mulling the placement of senior investigating officers from the Ombudsman in government agencies to aid its probe on erring officials, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday.

Guevarra confirmed that the DOJ-led task force received 60 complaints in the past two weeks regarding alleged corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Bureau of Customs, the Transportation Department, the Health Department, PhilHealth and other bodies, as well as "a lot" of local government units.

He added that the DOJ wrote to the agencies, requesting them to put up "anti-corruption mechanisms" that will coordinate with the task force.

"The DOJ is giving attention to these organizational and institutional arrangements so that actual investigation and prosecution may proceed smoothly and systematically in the months to come," Guevarra said in a statement.

The secretary said the complaints, which vary from small transactions to projects "worth hundreds of millions of pesos", are being referred to the operations center evaluation committee to see which ones should be prioritized and pursued by special investigation teams.

President Rodrigo Duterte has given the task force until June 30, 2022 — the last day of his term — to eradicate corruption in government.