Ombudsman: 'We have not seen any red flag' in Diokno-linked infra projects

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2019 09:04 PM

MANILA - Ombudsman Samuel Martires denied Thursday that his field investigators have noted “red flags” on supposed infrastructure contracts linked to the family of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, as House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. had alleged. 

In a statement, Martires said his office has yet to undertake a full investigation. He said he requested copies of the privilege speeches of Andaya and Sen. Panfilo Lacson on the matter as they were calling the attention of the Ombudsman.

“Truth of the matter is, we have not seen any red flag even from the horizon because we have not been sufficiently educated as to the subject matter of the privilege speeches of Sen. Lacson and Rep. Andaya, and as we have yet to fully investigate the matter,” Martires said.

Martires made the clarification despite his vow to keep the work of Ombudsman investigators confidential amid the continuing public spat between Diokno and Andaya.

On Wednesday, Martires refused to confirm nor deny the supposed actions of his office after Andaya released a statement saying the Office of the Ombudsman found “red flags” in the questioned infrastructure contracts. 

Martires said that while his office requested for copies of the speeches, a certain Mr. Baquiran from Andaya's office also offered and eventually gave documents from the public hearing in Naga City on the supposed big-time contracts in the region linked to Diokno's family.

Martires also advised the House of Representatives to just continue its investigation and file charges at the Office of the Ombudsman if there is sufficient evidence against Diokno.

“It is not good to drag the Office of the Ombudsman into this feud between the Office of the Secretary of Budget and Management and the House of Representatives,” Martires said.

Diokno had dismissed Andaya's allegations as “illusory”.