Dubious distinction: House of Reps facing most number of cases
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has just topped a list, but not one it would be proud of.
In the first half of 2015, the lower chamber was the government institution facing the most number of criminal charges filed by the Ombudsman before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
On Wednesday, December 9, the Ombudsman released data showing that 58 out of the 134 criminal cases filed between January and June 2015 were against House lawmakers. That’s 43% of the total cases.
Mary Rawnsle Lopez, spokesperson for the Ombudsman, said former lawmakers and their staff are among those charged in the 58 cases.
The cases involve plunder, graft, malversation of public funds, and bribery in connection with the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam. (READ: INFOGRAPHIC: Pork barrel trail – how gov't funds end with Napoles)
The tally for the House of Representatives is expected to rise further when data for the entire year are released.
Back in August, the Department of Justice filed the third batch of pork barrel scam charges before the Office of the Ombudsman. That batch included charges against 9 former and incumbent lawmakers.
Meanwhile, local government units (LGUs) are ranked second in the Ombudsman's list with 34 criminal cases, followed by the Department of Education (DepEd) with 11, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with 5, and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with 4.
The Ombudsman also reported that the Office of the Special Prosecutor improved its conviction rate to 75% from January to June this year, higher than the 45% in the same period last year.
Out of 108 cases that the Sandiganbayan ruled on, there were 81 convictions and 27 acquittals. – Rappler.com