Ombudsman to deputize gov’t prosecutors, auditors in anti-corruption drive

Published December 4, 2020, 3:18 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The Office of the Ombudsman is looking to deputize prosecutors of the Department of Justice (DoJ) and auditors of the Commission on Audit (CoA) as resident ombudsmen in corruption-prone government agencies, DoJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra revealed Friday.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)

Guevarra said the deputization of DoJ prosecutors and CoA auditors was discussed by members of the DoJ-led TFAC during a meeting last Wednesday.

The Justice Secretary disclosed “the OMB, CoA, and DoJ agreed to explore further the idea of deputizing DoJ prosecutors and CoA auditors as resident ombudsmen in certain corruption-prone agencies.”

“The idea actually came from Ombudsman Samuel Martires himself,” Guevarra said.

“He explained that his office did not have enough manpower to revive the resident ombudsmen of the past,” he added.

Guevarra said “both the DoJ and the CoA expressed willingness to accept the deputization by the OMB, subject to further discussion of the terms of the arrangement.”

Also during the meeting, Guevarra said “the TFAC approved the guidelines and parameters proposed by the DoJ-created Operations Center for the evaluation and investigation of corruption complaints, including guidelines on how to deal with complaints affecting other branches of government, as well as local government units.”

“The Task Force Secretariat also presented to the TFAC the more significant complaints so far received from various sources,” Guevarra also disclosed.

“With the approval of the guidelines and parameters, the TFAC Operations Center is expected to process complaints and reports on corruption more efficiently,” he added.

The Justice Secretary said that during the meeting, it was found out that “several agencies had created or strengthened their internal anti-corruption mechanisms.”

 
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