DOJ can probe corrupt congressmen – Lacson

Citibf the case of detained Senator Leila De Lima, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the could investigate corrupt congressmen.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte announced he had no authority to probe or name the corrupt congressmen identified by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission since they belong to a co-equal branch of government.

“May nakita lang akong inconsistency kasi si Senator De Lima, din, executive ang nag-prosecute, di ba? Kaya nga siya nakakulong kasi ang nag-initiate ng investigation DOJ din at that time… I think ito second semester hanggang 2017,” Lacson said in a radio interview.

“So, anong kaibahan kung iimbestigahan din ang mga congressmen? Dahil ang naiintindihan ko ang batas patas naman ‘yan eh. It would cut across the different branches of government,” Lacson said.

DOJ filed three drug-related cases against De Lima in 2017. De Lima is still detained and repeatedly denied involvement in the in the national penitentiary.

“So, anong kaibahan kung iimbestigahan din ang mga congressmen? Dahil ang naiintindihan ko ang batas patas naman ‘yan eh. It would cut across the different branches of government,” Lacson said.

DOJ can probe corrupt congressmen – Lacson

He noted that both houses do not have the authority to prosecute and could only investigate in aid of legislation.

Lacson believes the DOJ could undertake the initial investigation and gather evidence against the corrupt congressmen.

“Kung magko-conduct ng preliminary investigation ang DOJ at makakita sila ng probable cause, puwede nila itong ipasa sa Ombudsman para mas madali na ang trabaho ng Ombudsman,” he said.

The President earlier said he would forward the list of alleged corrupt congressmen to the Office of the Ombudsman.

“If I do not have jurisdiction, I cannot name them publicly. Wala akong — sabihin ko lang — hindi sabihin ako’y natatakot or may kino-coveran ako na congressman, wala. Wala. Pagdating niyan sa listahan, it will be given to me and to me alone,” Duterte said.

“Now, when the time comes, I will ask the Secretary of Justice to review it. But review na cursory reading lang, I said because we — he does not have the jurisdiction either, he will pass it on to the Ombudsman,” he added.