Ombudsman files fewer cases in anti-graft court in Q1 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman filed a drastically lower number of cases against erring public officials during the first quarter of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.
According to data released by the Sandiganbayan Records Division, the Ombudsman filed only 51 cases – 11 in January, 14 in February, and 26 in March.
The latest figure is almost 81% lower than the 1st quarter of 2018 when it filed 261 cases before the anti-graft court. The Office of the Ombudsman also filed cases against low-ranking public officials at lower courts aside from the Sandiganbayan.
This decrease in new cases filed by the Ombudsman contributed to the rapid reduction of the anti-graft court’s case load. In fact, its pending cases have reached below the 5,000-mark for the first time in 3 years.
Data available shows that as of March 31, 2019, there are at least 4,950 pending cases across 7 divisions within the anti-graft court. This year’s figure so far is down from December 2018’s 5,237 and December 2017’s 5,493 cases, respectively.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor under the Ombudsman also scored 36 convictions during the first 3 months of 2019 while 44 accused were acquitted. At least 20 defendants, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to lesser offenses.
Latest data also shows that the Office of the Ombudsman withdrew 27 cases while the Sandiganbayan dismissed 24 cases in the same period. – Rappler.com