Ombudsman posts low 18% conviction rate for Jan-Oct '08


Posted at Dec 14 2008 10:15 PM | Updated as of Dec 15 2008 06:15 AM

The Office of the Ombudsman posted a low 18.33 conviction rate during the first 10 months of 2008, based on figures released by the Sandiganbayan Records Section.

Records showed that of 349 cases disposed by the graft court so far this year, the Ombudsman has posted 64 convictions against 115 acquittals, 105 cases dismissed (with or without trial) and 35 cases withdrawn by prosecutors.

The remaining cases were either transferred to lower courts or shelved for lack of procedural progress.

The Sandiganbayan records were in contrast to the 60.87 conviction rating for 2008 released by the Ombudsman last Friday capped by an outstanding 91.8 percent average in October.

The Ombudsman’s computation was a comparison of convictions against acquittals, not counting dismissed, withdrawn, archived or remanded cases.

The Sandiganbayan results also indicated that prosecutors posted 55 convictions in the total of 84 cases decided by the court’s five divisions in October which translates to a more conservative 65.48 percent.

The biggest boost in the Ombudsman’s record was the conviction of former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) disbursing officer Israel B. Haron for 52 counts of malversation of public funds in October for fraudulent disbursements.

Haron’s co-accused, former ARMM governor Zacaria A. Candao was found guilty of nine counts of malversation while Abbas Candao was convicted of 43 counts.

The said cases comprised around 80 percent of the Ombudsman’s total conviction for the year.

The Center for Global Development (CGD) earlier reported in September that the Philippine government failed in the 2008 corruption control index of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).

The CGD said RP only managed 47 percent – three points off the 50 percent required passing grade – which jeopardized its eligibility to continue receiving anti-corruption stipend from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) amounting to $21 million.