Further to the 07 August 2020 Memorandum of the President directing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to organize a panel to investigate the allegations of corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), the DOJ was once again directed by the President to investigate allegations of corruption in the entire government through a Memorandum dated 27 October 2020.
As stated in the Memorandum, the President granted the DOJ the authority to decide which allegations of corruption to investigate, taking into consideration the gravity thereof and the impact on the delivery of government services. The DOJ was also given the discretion to create as many panels as it deems necessary and adequate, and may invite or direct other bodies or agencies of the government to assist or be part of the panel.
Pursuant to this directive, Secretary of Justice Menardo I. Guevarra met with senior officials of the Department of Justice, including the Prosecutor General Benedicto A. Malcontento and NBI Officer-In-Charge Director Eric B. Distor, on 27 October 2020 and discussed the organization of the Task Force to investigate allegations of corruption in the entire government, methods of securing information regarding incidences of corruptions in government, and possible approaches for the conduct of the investigations of allegations of corruption—taking into consideration the gravity of the allegations and its impact on the delivery of government services.
It was agreed during the said meeting that the Core Group constituted for the Task Force to investigate allegations of corruption in the Philhealth will be the same Core Group for the Task Force to investigate allegations of corruption in the entire government. The Core Group, headed by the DOJ, is composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), National Prosecution Service (NPS), and the Anti-Money laundering Council (AMLC). The Core Group shall immediately be convened and all matters discussed during the 27 October 2020 meeting shall be approved by the Core Group.
The Task Force shall also invite the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Office of the Ombudsman to work together with the Task Force, with due consideration for their independence as constitutional bodies.