Panelo: New anti-corruption body to help Ombudsman

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2017 11:32 PM

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA- Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Thursday said the new Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission will function in aid of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Speaking to ANC, Panelo said the commission will assist the President in ridding the government of corruption and will help the Ombudsman in the speedy action on cases against government officials.

"If you notice, there are many complaints on the individual handling of cases. Perhaps because there are so many cases filed in that office (Ombudsman) and they are lacking in personnel...So effectively this commission will help the Ombudsman," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the executive order creating the commission a week after he vowed to form a body that would investigate alleged corruption at the Office of the Ombudsman.

The President himself is facing an Ombudsman investigation into his and his family's wealth. 

Panelo denied that the Office of the Ombudsman will be the first subject of investigation by the new committee.

The President has also made no mention yet on who will head the commission.

Asked if the function of the commission will be redundant to that of the Ombudsman--an independent body that handles cases against government officials, Panelo said the new commission will handle cases under "specific laws."

"..There are specific laws that may be handled by the commission while the Ombudsman has general jurisdiction. Any act that illegal, irregular, any violation, they can take care of that. While this commission, there are specific laws which are the subject matter of the investigation," he said.