Ombudsman cases vs gov't officials up by 267% in 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The number of cases filed by the Ombudsman against government officials went up by 267% in 2016, according to the Sandiganbayan Judicial Records Division.
The Ombudsman filed a total of 1,311 cases in 2016, much higher than the 357 filed in 2015. It was the first time since 1995 that the agency filed more than a thousand cases.
Based on the Sandiganbayan report, 418 cases were filed in the first half of 2016 – still under former president Benigno Aquino III – while 893 were filed from June to December 2016, mostly under the Duterte administration.
In total, the agency has filed a total of 3,966 cases against erring public officials since Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales was appointed in 2011.
The top offense is violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (402 cases), followed by malversation of public funds (390 cases), violation of presidential decrees (112 cases), and falsification of public documents (72 cases).
Morales has been criticized for her alleged inaction on a number of cases, including those involving Aquino, who appointed her to office.
With the surge comes the subsequent increase of cases pending before the Sandiganbayan, totaling 4,214 cases – an all-time high for the anti-graft court.
The court activated 2 additional divisions last year, raising the total to 7 divisions, to speed up the resolution of cases against public officials. In 2016, the court was only able to dispose of 371 cases against a caseload of 4,585. – Rappler.com