House leaders contemplating review of Ombudsman’s powers

Top leaders of the House of Representatives are eyeing a review of the vast powers of the Ombudsman. These powers surfaced during the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. Senators and defense lawyers raised legal questions over the interpretation by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales of her own powers. For instance, she was able to acquire — without a court order — bank records of Chief Justice Renato Corona from the Anti-Money Laundering Council. Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr said there may be a need to revisit the Ombudsman law (RA 6770), clarify and limit it, if found to be too vast. At the same time, he said, there was no abuse of authority by Morales in her exercise of her powers.

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