Charges readied vs gov’t guard with P290-M deposits

Ombudsman starts fact-finding probe on DOLE's TUPAD program in QC


MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday said it was preparing to file charges against a government worker who had amassed P290 million in bank deposits while working as a “security guard” for a state agency in the past 21 years.

During deliberations on his office’s budget in the Senate, Ombudsman Samuel Martires declined to name the multimillionaire state worker pending the filing of criminal charges against him in the Sandiganbayan.

According to Martires, the wife of the “security guard” had also deposited a total of P179 million in the past eight years.

“This just shows the severity of corruption [in the government],” he said during the budget hearing presided over by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara.

“The biggest problem here is greed, which seems to be running in the blood of some public officials,” he added.

Martires, a retired justice of the Supreme Court and Sandiganbayan, admitted that stamping out graft and corruption was next to impossible and that he had thought of quitting his post as chief graft buster.

“Even if you give us P100 billion, we will not be able to eradicate corruption,” he lamented. “We, ourselves, are fighting corruption within the office so we cannot just pass the blame to other agencies because we also have a problem regarding corruption,” he said.

Martires said he had already ordered an investigation against unscrupulous antigraft personnel, but they have so far failed to collate enough evidence to pin them down.