House panel won't abolish Ombudsman's office

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 22 2018 03:14 PM

MANILA - The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments denied that it has sought to abolish the Office of the Ombudsman through their proposed changes to the 1987 Charter.

Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, chairman of the panel, said the Ombudsman and the commissions on audit, civil service and elections will still exist in the federal government that will be established under charter change.

"Wala tayong sinasabing con-com (constitutional commissions) and Ombudsman will be deleted. Andito sa output ng sub-committees, they will continue to exist," Mercado told reporters.

"Those are opinions, I think. It's not part of the official transcripts during the discussions," added PBA Party List Rep. Jericho Nograles.

During deliberations on the federalism proposal last week, Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso floated the idea of abolishing the Ombudsman and transferring its functions to the Justice department. His proposal, however, was met negatively.

The Ombudsman, an agency tasked with investigating complaints against public officials, had been accused of corruption by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte himself is facing an Ombudsman investigation in connection with his family's alleged hidden wealth.