PAGC begins probe of SEC’s Martinez
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:46:00 03/11/2009
MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) has begun investigating allegations of corruption against Securities and Exchange Commissioner Jesus Martinez ahead of his retirement on Thursday.
The case against Martinez was “docketed” before the PAGC body Tuesday, its chairperson Constancia de Guzman said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
The PAGC has one year to investigate a docketed case and determine whether or not charges should be filed against a presidential appointee, whether or not he is in the active service or retired, De Guzman said.
“The case was docketed yesterday [Tuesday]… We have gathered enough evidence to proceed with the investigation,” she said.
But, she added, “We will not use up the full 100 days. We will do the investigation in a shorter period.”
Martinez, who is accused of receiving money, a luxury vehicle, and a house from the pre-need arm of the troubled Legacy Group could be charged with violation of the Anti-Graft Law and the Code of Ethics for Public Officials, she said.
Meanwhile, SEC chairperson Fe Barin rejected anew calls for her and other commissioners to resign over the Legacy Group controversy.
“It is our feeling right that we don’t see any reason for us to come out and resign. We leave our faith to the hands of the appointing authority,” she said.
Barin rejected allegations that she was favored by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, pointing out she had been in government service for 53 years.
“I hope it doesn’t end this way. Until this investigation, I have never been charged with anything,” she said.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said there should be a “good enough reason” for Arroyo to ask Barin and other SEC officials to resign.
“She [Arroyo] has not lost her trust [in] chairperson Barin and the other commissioners,” he said.
Barin said the investigation into the allegations against Martinez should proceed “unimpeded.”
Asked if she found anything wrong with what Martinez allegedly did, Barin said: “It’s a little difficult to judge someone else’s actions if you are not privy to all the information. Maybe the person himself should be given a chance.”
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