Ombudsman’s resolved cases double year on year

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Ombudsman’s resolved cases double year on year
The anti-graft agency investigates and disposes of 9,367 complaints from January to March 2016, up from 5,016 in the same period last year

MANILA, Philippines – The number of complaints resolved by the Office of the Ombudsman in the first 3 months of 2016 almost doubled from the same period last year.

According to the Quarterly Physical Report of Operation published on the Ombudsman’s website, the agency investigated and disposed of 9,367 complaints from January to March 2016. It represented an increase of nearly 87% from the 5,016 complaints for the same period in 2015.

Of the complaints investigated, 25% resulted in the filing of criminal cases or administrative charges against public officials. In the first quarter of 2015, only 17% of complaints that the Ombudsman looked into resulted in indictments.

At the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, 89% of cases filed by the Ombudsman in the first quarter of the year prospered – a slight increase from the 88.65% in 2015.

Of the Ombudsman rulings that were elevated to the Court of Appeals, the percentage of those upheld increased to 87% from 85% year on year.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor, the prosecuting arm of the Office of the Ombudsman, scored 31 convictions against 22 acquittals from January to March this year, according to the Sandiganbayan Judicial Records Section.

This conviction rate is lower than the 75% in the first quarter of 2015, where cases led to 117 guilty verdicts against 40 acquittals.

The first 3 months of the year saw the following officials convicted: 

  • Jose Romeo Nereus Acosta – Laguna Lake Development Authority general manager and Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection (for the misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund as congressman)
  • Socorro Acosta – former mayor of Manolo Fortich town in Bukidnon (for misuse of her son’s PDAF)
  • Vitaliano Nañagas II – former Development Bank of the Philippines chairman (for graft and estafa)
  • Benjamin P. Bautista – former Davao del Sur governor (multiple counts of graft)
  • 5 Davao del Sur officials co-accused with Bautista
  • Uldarico Andutan – former finance executive director (graft and estafa)
  • A municipal mayor and a provincial legal officer of Nueva Vizcaya. – 

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