Do lifestyle checks on all gov’t execs – House leader

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. delivers his speech at the opening of the Second Regular Session of the House of Representatives at the Batasang Pambansa Bldg. in Quezon City on Monday morning (July 28, 2014). (MNS photo)

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. delivers his speech at the opening of the Second Regular Session of the House of Representatives at the Batasang Pambansa Bldg. in Quezon City on Monday morning (July 28, 2014). (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Any proposal to make lifestyle checks mandatory should cover all government officials, Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said Tuesday.

Asked if he would agree to lifestyle checks on members of the House of Representatives, Gonzales replied: “Why only congressmen, why not include mayor, governors, lahat-lahat na (everyone)?”

Proposals for lifestyle checks have been aired anew following allegations that Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family benefited from the allegedly overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2 and, more recently, in the wake of plunder and graft charges filed against Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima.

Malacañang and the Bureau of Internal Revenue are currently drafting rules for the conduct of mandatory lifestyle checks on members of the 148,000-strong PNP, which was recommended after confirmation that policemen were involved in a recent robbery and abduction that happened in broad daylight right on EDSA.

However, in an earlier interview, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. opposed making lifestyle checks mandatory.

“I have no objection to it, but it’s not something you can impose on everybody here,” he said.

He said lifestyle checks might be necessary for officials facing allegations of corruption.

“But if you’re somebody who doesn’t have any issue, I think it’s not really that needed,” he said.

There is no specific agency mandated to do lifestyle checks on government officials and employees, although the Office of the Ombudsman is empowered to do these on those with pending cases. (MNS)

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