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.

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