I will not protect those involved in corruption
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said that he will not protect officials involved in corruption, including his cabinet ministers.

"I will not protect those involved in corruption," Jokowi said at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, Sunday.

He made the statement following a report that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has named Social Affairs Minister Juliari Peter Batubara a suspect in a bribery case concerning the COVID-19 social assistance program for the Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi) area this year.

"We believe that the KPK works transparently, openly, properly and professionally. The government will continue to consistently support efforts to prevent and eradicate corruption," the President said.

He also warned his other ministers to not commit corruption.

"Since the beginning, I have reminded the Indonesian ministers to not commit corruption," the President said. Juliari Batubara was named a suspect in receiving bribes along with two Commitment Making Officials (PPK) at the Ministry of Social Affairs, namely Matheus Joko Santoso (MJS) and Adi Wahyono (AW).

The bribes came from two private parties, Ardian I M (AIM) and Harry Sidabuke (HS).

The KPK suspects that the Minister of Social Affairs received a total bribe worth Rp. 17 billion as "fee" for providing basic food social assistance for people affected by COVID-19 in Jabodetabek.

"In the implementation of the first period of the basic food assistance program, it is suspected that a 'fee' of Rp. 12 billion had been received. MJS had given Rp8.2 billion to JPB via AW," KPK chairman Firli Bahuri told the press at the KPK building, here on early Sunday.

The money was then managed by Eko and Shelvy N, Batubara's trusted people, to be used to pay for his personal needs.

"For the second period of the implementation of the basic food assistance program, 'fee' amounting Rp8.8 billion was collected from October 2020 to December 2020. The money was also allegedly used for JPB needs," Firli Bahuri said.

On Nov 25, 2020, KPK detained Minister for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Edhy Prabowo and four other suspects over an alleged bribery case in permit issuance for aquaculture and/or fishing businesses and marine commodities in 2020.

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Translator: Desca L, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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