Palace says Duterte trusts PAO chief amid corruption allegation
PUBLIC Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta continues to enjoy President Rodrigo Duterte’s trust and confidence amid allegations of corruption, Malacañang said on Thursday, August 15.
“Palagi naman si Presidente, hanggang walang findings of probable cause, palaging nandoon ang trust (The President always gives his trust, in the absence of probable cause),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
The Palace official made the remark after several PAO lawyers asked the Office of the Ombudsman to remove Acosta from office for supposed involvement in corruption.
In a statement sent to the anti-graft body, PAO lawyers sought Acosta’s immediate suspension, as they claimed that the chief public attorney is involved in a “systematic scheme.”
They alleged that Acosta was defrauding the government by forging purchase orders to get extra funds from her agency.
Panelo, however, said the Palace opts not to meddle in the issue and instead let the Ombudsman take appropriate action.
“As a matter of policy, the President does not interfere in the work, function, activity of any Constitutional body or any branch of the government. Let the law take its course,” he said.
Asked if the PAO chief needs to take a leave pending the results of the investigation, Panelo said: “Na kay chief Acosta na ‘yun (It’s up to PAO chief Acosta).”
Acosta has been the PAO chief for over 18 years after being appointed by former president Gloria Macapagal-arroyo.
The PAO chief finished law studies in Ateneo de Manila University and University of the East and placed fourth in the 1984 Bar examinations./sunstar Philippines