Ombudsman’s conviction rate declines in first 3 quarters of 2013 – report | Inquirer News
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Ombudsman’s conviction rate declines in first 3 quarters of 2013 – report

By: - Reporter / @cynchdbINQ
/ 07:11 PM November 03, 2013

MANILA, Philippines — The performance of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) in securing convictions for scalawags in government declined in the first three quarters of the year.

Latest data from the Sandiganbayan Judicial Records Division showed the OMB only managed to get 24 convictions, or 12.83 percent, of 187 public officials whose cases were already decided by the Sandiganbayan from January 1 to August 31, 2013.

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The conviction rate is the lowest since June 2010 when President Aquino, riding high on an anti-corruption platform, took over the reins of government.

Of the cases referred to the Sandiganbayan, 63 were dismissals, 38 were acquittals, 43 charges were withdrawn, 18 were sent to the archives, and one accused turned state witness.

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In 2010, the OMB posted a 14.56 percent batting average by securing 54 guilty verdicts out of 364 cases brought to the anti-graft court.

In 2011, it was 16.1 percent, with 81 guilty verdicts out of 503 cases.

In 2012, the figure was 16.72 percent, with 52 wins out of 311 indicted public officials.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has said the OMB has been having difficulty attracting good lawyers owing to the small pay in government.

The situation worsened with the resignation of some lawyers who were previously promoted by former Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez.

The law does not allow the Ombudsman to tap the assistance of private lawyers to handle prosecution of cases although it can hire “consultants” to help sort out presentation and prosecution strategies.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, in a recent forum organized by the Makati Business Club, assured Morales of a supportive Congress by giving the OMB additional funds to enable the agency to hire more lawyers and implement her reforms.

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TAGS: cases against government officials, conviction rate., Crime, Graft and Corruption, law and justice, Malversation of Funds, News, Office of the Ombudsman, Plunder, Sandiganbayan
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