MANILA, Philippines – Ombudsman Samuel Martires said on Friday, August 16, that the accusations of corruption against chief public attorney Persida Acosta will be “judiciously scrutinized.”
“The corruption allegations against the high-ranking PAO officials will be judiciously scrutinized and the cases shall be resolved solely on the basis of the evidence presented by the parties,” Martires said in a statement on Friday.
Martires said that the scrutiny will include the recently-filed manifestation by unnamed PAO lawyers accusing Acosta of deliberately overstocking on office supplies used in preparing Dengvaxia cases to be able to “obtain extra funds.”
Martires also confirmed an earlier complaint filed by lawyer Wilfredo Garrido is now undergoing preliminary investigation at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Garrido accused Acosta of committing graft when she created the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) forensics lab, which Garrido said is illegal because only Congress supposedly has the power to create an office.
Martires said that Garrido and Acosta were directed on August 6 to submit their position papers.
Acosta has defended the creation of a forensics lab as having the approval of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The position paper is part of a pleading which will be the basis of the investigating panel to decide on the administrative aspect of the case, which is to determine whether they will suspend Acosta or not.
On August 8, unnamed PAO lawyers sent the manifestation alleging overstocking and corruption to supplement Garrido’s complaint.
On Thursday, August 15, over a hundred public attorneys from the PAO Central Office signed their names to a manifesto disowning the manifestation. – Rappler.com