Department of Health

The Ombudsman’s power to investigate


One of the questions raised by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Day 38 of the #CoronaTrial was whether the Ombudsman’s power to investigate public officials overrides the procedures stated in the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA). Santiago said that under AMLA, a bank inquiry can only be conducted after the AMLC first finds probably cause against an official – after which it must then file a complaint with the DOJ or the Office of the Ombudsman. In the case of Chief Justice Renato Corona, the Ombudsman went to the AMLC first. The powers of the Ombudsman and the AMLA, however, are based on two different laws – which raises the question, which one should be followed?

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