Anakalusugan party-list Representative Mike Defensor told Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chief Greco Belgica to “shut up” if he could provide proof of alleged corrupt congressmen.
Belgica earlier claimed that there are “less than 12” House members involved in corrupt Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) projects.
“To my recollection, this is the second time in recent months that he has made this allegation, although he refuses to name names, saying he does not have solid evidence to file cases,” Defensor said in a statement.
“If that is so, then he should just shut up. If he has evidence that can stand in court, he should file cases against the lawmakers he claims are involved in corruption,” he added.
Defensor said it is unfair to all congressmen and the House of Representatives as an institution for Belgica to tag the chamber’s members in corruption easily but refuse to identify and sue them.
“If he cannot support what he is saying, then what is his purpose? To taint all House members and their institution and put them under a cloud of suspicion? We have been trying to improve the image of the House, and he is tarnishing it,” he said.
“[Belgica’s job] is not to engage in trial by publicity but to gather evidence and build cases against corrupt officials and file them before the proper forum like the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Office of the Ombudsman,” he added.
Defensor dares Belgica to show proof of corrupt congressmen
However, Belgica said PACC could not further investigate Congress members because it is only authorized to cover presidential appointees and not elected officials like legislators.
“In the course of our investigation, some of it, merong mga gaya ng isa naming witness nagsasabi tungkol nga sa connivance, porsyentuhan, which involves, of course DPWH contractors,” he said.
“Tapos, merong ilang nagsasabi merong mga parte ang mga legislator, hindi lahat, for specific projects,” he added.
Belgica noted that the investigation should be tasked to “competent authorities” such as the Office of the Ombudsman, Department of Justice, and the National Bureau of Investigation.
If this was the situation, then Defensor questioned the point of Belgica’s accusations.
“If that is so, why talk about this issue, titillate the imagination of the public and put all House members in bad light?” Defensor said.