Duterte’s acceptance of gifts while in office violates law: lawyer

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Duterte's acceptance of gifts while in office violates law: lawyer

President Rodrigo Duterte said receiving gifts from close friend Pastor Apollo Quiboloy had led to transplant allegations against him. ABS-CBN News / File

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s acceptance of expensive gifts like a house is against the law, a lawyer said Thursday.

Duterte had said he had received a house from Pastor Apollo Quiboloy of the Sect of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ when he was Mayor of Davao and that he would not own the house until he retired from politics.

However, according to Tony La Vina, former dean of the Ateneo School of Government in Manila, government officials should adhere to a “no gifts” policy.

“All the essentials, you cannot accept it while in government. It doesn’t matter if you say it is technically yours only after your term in office,” he told ABS-CBN Teleradyo.

(You can’t accept anything substantial while in government. It doesn’t matter if you say that technically it won’t be yours until after your term in office.)

“It’s not only against the spirit of the law, but against the law itself. The law doesn’t say the gift is already yours. If the intent is already yours, it is a violation of the (Anti) -Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. “

(The law does not require the gift to be yours already. If the intent is to own it, it is a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.)

Duterte may face charges of violating the law after his prison sentence, while Quiboloy could face complaints now because he was not criminally immune, La Vina said.

“That doesn’t mean it’s okay if you’re transparent. He just can’t be prosecuted now because the president has immunity,” he said.

(Transparency doesn’t do it right. The president can’t be charged at the moment for having immunity.)

“No gifts policy. Every government official, politician should have a no gifts policy.”

Teleradyo, Rodrigo Duterte, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, Transplant, Corruption, Duterte House Gift, Davao, Duterte, Quiboloy