Palace won’t interfere on Ombudsman’s withdrawal of raps vs Noynoy
Robie de Guzman • July 1, 2019 • 1067
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said it will not meddle with the Office of the Ombudsman’s decision to move for the withdrawal of the graft and usurpation cases filed against former President Benigno Aquino III in relation with the Mamasapano encounter in 2015.
“The Palace doesn’t interfere with the other branches of the government as well as constitutional bodies. They have their assigned constitutional functions,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Saturday.
“They should freely perform their given constitutional tasks without interference from anyone or any entity,” he added.
Panelo’s statement comes after Ombudsman Samuel Martires filed a motion to withdraw the violation of anti-graft laws and usurpation charges that the government filed against Aquino in connection with the deaths of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015.
In a two-page resolution dated June 24, Martires said the withdrawal of charges was due to lack of sufficient ground to charge Aquino for graft and usurpation of official functions under the Revised Penal Code.
The charges, filed by then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, stemmed from Aquino’s decision to allow suspended National Police chief Alan Purisima to participate in the botched operation which resulted in the death of SAF troopers.
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco urged the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to submit to the Office of the Ombudsman their report on the alleged involvement of several lawmakers in anomalies at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“Pursuant to due process, we believe that the matter should be brought before the Ombudsman, given the limited jurisdiction of the PACC over officials in the Executive Branch, and not those in the legislature,” he said.
In a statement on Tuesday (December 29), Velasco said the President made it clear that there is a presumption of innocence and such announcement was not an indictment. He also remind the public “not take it as gospel truth that it’s true.”
Based on reports, Velasco said the House members included in the PACC list claimed that none of the representatives from PACC have invited them for questioning.
“It appears that the PACC has not made any investigation as to the veracity of the accusations against them since they belong to another branch of government, which is not within the authority of the Commission,” Velasco said. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang insists that the publication of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN depends on the Office of the Ombudsman.
This was the Palace’s response when asked whether the public will ever get to see the wealth records of the Chief Executive.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque advises the public to follow the regulations imposed by the Ombudsman on public access to SALN of government officials.
“May bago pong guidelines na sinusunod ang Office of the Ombudsman. Siguro po dahil po constitutional body ang Ombudsman, dapat pong sundin ang kanilang mga guidelines [The Office of the Ombudsman is following a set of guidelines. Since the Ombudsman is a constitutional body, their guidelines must be followed),” Roque stressed.
Unlike in past administrations, the Ombudsman is no longer allowing the public to see copies of the SALNs.
It can only be provided to a requester if he or she is the declarant or the person who filed the SALN or the duly representative of the declarant, a court order is present or the request is made by the Ombudsman’s field investigation units. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
Ombudsman Samuel Martires on Wednesday (June 17) ordered an investigation on Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque and other DOH officials over alleged irregularities in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response.
“I directed the creation of two more investigating teams who will jointly investigate alleged irregularities and anomalies committed by DOH officials and employees, including Health Sec. Francisco Duque, in relation to the response of the DOH during this pandemic,” he said.
Martires also tasked the investigating team to file complaints against any DOH official or employee who would refuse to cooperate with the investigation.
Among the accusations to be investigated include:
Purchase of 100 thousand test kits by the Department of Health
Delayed procurement of Personal Protective Equipment and other medical gears necessary for the protection of healthcare workers
Alleged lapses and irregularities that led to the death of medical workers
Rising number of deaths and infected medical frontliners
Inaction in the release processing of benefits and financial assistance of “fallen” and infected medical frontliners; and
Confusing and delayed reporting of COVID-19 related deaths and confirmed cases.
Malacañang said it respects the decision of the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation on Duque and other DOH officials.
“We will let the process run its course as we enjoin Secretary Duque & the entire DOH bureaucracy to cooperate with the investigation and respect the orders of the OMB,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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