Refusal of witnesses to testify frustrates Martires; calls for abolition of Ombudsman
MANILA, Philippines — Frustrated by the refusal of supposed witnesses to come forward and offer evidence of corruption in government, Ombudsman Samuel Martires said on Tuesday that Office of the Ombudsman, whose main job is to go after corrupt government officials and private individuals, should just be abolished.
Martires said that while many complain about corruption in government agencies, nobody wants to testify or file an affidavit, thus rendering Ombudsman unnecessary.
“There is always a rumor of corruption in the Bureau of Customs. But we cannot gather enough evidence because nobody would like to testify. Nobody would like to come up and testify against these corrupt practices,” Martires said during the House deliberations on the Ombudsman budget.
“So san na kami maghahagilap ng ebidensya? ‘Yung mismong nagrereklamo ay takot eh wala ho mangyayari sa ating pag ganyan. Siguro sabi ko nga, i-abolish na lang ang office of the ombudsman. Kasi wala ho kaming mangyayari,” he added.
He added that those making accusations but refuse to file an affidavit or testify should just keep quiet.
“Kaya sinasabi ko na lang ho sa mga nagrereklamo, eh kung ayaw niyong lumantad at tumestigo, tumahimik kayo at hindi puro chismis,” Martires said.
The Ombudsman is proposing a P3.7-billion budget for 2021.
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