The Philippine Star
Concom wants more power for Ombudsman
The consultative committee (Concom) President Duterte created to draft a new constitution suited to the federal system of government wants to give the Office of the Ombudsman “more teeth” to fight graft and corruption.
In its draft, Concom spokesman Ding Generoso said, courts would be restricted from issuing a writ of injunction to avoid delays in the investigation it is conducting.
“I think this is a new power,” he told reporters, clarifying that this power stands “unless there is a prima facie evidence that the subject matter of the investigation is outside the jurisdiction of the Federal Ombudsman Commission.”
He pointed out that many who are investigated for graft and corruption run to the courts to stop a probe. But this time, he added that a court could halt an investigation if the matter is beyond the scope of the Office of the Ombudsman, which will be transformed into a Federal Ombudsman Commission.
Aside from giving the antigraft agency more power, Generoso said the ombudsman will also become a collegial body and that more commissioners will be appointed.
“Instead of just one om- budsman looking at all the numerous cases, you can now divide the number of cases to the different commissioners. It will now be a collegial body,” he said.
He added that the proposed federal commission would prioritize complaints filed against high-ranking government officials, such as presidential appointees, and hear complaints involving large sums of money or properties.