Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said today the Department of Justice is the most appropriate agency to investigate alleged corruption at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Sotto made the suggestion following allegations that DPWH officials and some legislators are demanding kickbacks and commissions from contractors involved in infrastructure projects, particularly lawmakers’ “pork barrel” appropriations.
The Senate chief said it does not look nice if the Senate will investigate congressmen or congressmen will investigate senators. The two legislative chambers are bound by their parliamentary courtesy tradition.
Sotto said allegations of corrupt practices at the DPWH must be proven as everybody becomes suspects.
He cited the recent investigation by the Senate Committee of the Whole on the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) multi-billion peso mess where documents and testimonies were taken.
The COW report and recommendations had been transmitted to the DoJ.
President Duterte earlier said the DPWH is corruption-laden but he still trusts DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar.
Earlier, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said that corruption at DPWH is too gross.
“Garapalan na (It is too much),” he added.
He labeled as gentlemen persons who demand only 10 percent commission from contractors on infrastructure projects. Lacson, an anti-pork barrel advocate, damned those demanding 11 percent or more.