Fielding of prosecutors, auditors as deputy Ombudsmen in gov’t offices eyed this September

Published August 30, 2021, 12:24 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra

Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors and auditors of the Commission on Audit (COA) as deputized resident Ombudsmen are expected to be fielded this September in various government offices, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Monday, Aug. 30.

It was not known immediately if the resident Ombudsmen, once deputized, will start scrutinizing the audit reports recently released by COA like the audit findings on the Department of Health (DOH).

Guevarra said “we will take the cue from the Ombudsman (Samuel R. Martires)” whether the deputy ombudsmen will begin scrutinizing the recent audit reports made by COA.

He said the memorandum of agreement (MOA) is expected to be signed this week by the DOJ, COA and the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB).

“For health and safety reasons, we’ll dispense with the planned signing ceremony and instead circulate the MOA for individual signing by the principal parties this week,” he said.

Among other agencies, the recent COA reports flagged the DOH on the P67.3 billion “deficiencies” in its expendituress for country’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The COA annual audit reports will indeed provide a good starting point” for the resident Ombudsmen, Guevarra noted.

Earlier, Guevarra had said that “the idea (of fielding deputy Ombudsmen) actually came from Ombudsman Martires himself. He explained that his office did not have enough manpower to revive the resident Ombudsmen of the past.”