REP. Rufus Rodriguez of the city’s 2nd District on Monday proposed a “surgical strike” approach in the Duterte administration’s handling of the corruption problem in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) even as he called on Malacañang to follow the legal processes.
Rodriguez said that while the allegations of corruption in the PCSO are disturbing, the Palace should carefully weigh the pros and cons of what he called as President Duterte’s “drastic decision.”
He said due process of law means starting an investigation, identifying the wrongdoers and making them accountable in court.
“If anyone proposes for a congressional investigation into the alleged corruption, I will support it,” he said.
But Malacañang’s order to stop all PCSO-accredited operations just because PCSO has been marred by corruption was like “burning the entire house just because there is a rat inside,” said Rodriguez.
He said the Palace should respect legal processes and the judiciary rather than make sweeping accusations that the courts that intervened have been corrupted, too.
“That’s generalization, and that is unfair to our courts,” Rodriguez said.
He said what should be done is to make those responsible for the alleged corruption answer for the wrongdoing.
Rodriguez said this even as he pointed out that despite the controversy hounding it now, the PCSO has helped many citizens in need of government assistance.
He said congressmen and even local governments have long been tapping the PCSO in their efforts to help the needy.
During his first three terms as Cagayan de Oro congressman, Rodriguez said, the PCSO has become his reliable partner in helping citizens who have gone to his office to seek for assistance.
Meanwhile, Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano said he trusts that Duterte has a good reason for ordering the PCSO-accredited numbers games stopped.
Emano said he also trusts that Duterte was aware that his decision meant that many workers dependent on the PCSO-accredited outlets would be displaced.
“I believe there is a good reason. Gusto ko nga inig-abot sa panahon atong paminawon ilabi na kay naglambigit sa korapsyon,” he said.
Emano said that while Duterte’s decision would adversely affect PCSO’s assistance to local governments that facilitate national government aid for the poor, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) can fill the void.
The governor also said the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) should help the workers displaced as a result of Duterte’s order by putting in place measures to assist them while the investigation into the alleged PCSO corruption is ongoing. (Herbie Gomez, Lito Rulona and Shiela Mae Butlig)