Ombudsman wants more powers to probe public officials

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2016 09:45 PM

MANILA - Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales is calling for amendments in the anti-wiretapping law and bank secrecy law which would give her office more freedom to investigate erring public officials. 

The Ombudsman also wants authority to file cases of forfeiture of assets without preliminary investigations.

The Ombudsman said these amendments are necessary as they work on the speedy disposition of thousands of pending cases.

Morales is aiming for zero-case backlog when she retires in July 2018.

Currently, the Ombudsman receives 390 complaints everyday. As of end 2015, a total of 11,056 pending cases were left and 6,707 cases had been resolved.

Morales admitted prioritizing high-profile cases or those which involve a great amount of money, high-ranking government officials, and public interest, such as the pork barrel scam.

But she clarified this does not mean that her office is putting smaller cases on hold.

When asked about her take on the link between political dynasties and corruption, the Ombudsman just threw a witty response about gaining more enemies.

"Do you want me to have more enemies? You want me to be impeached now?" Morales said.

Morales also asked the Filipinos to elect an honest leader with integrity, one who can ensure that the country's development will not be stunted by corruption.