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Palace: Senate, Ombudsman can probe corruption in gov’t

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is not getting in the way of investigations by the Senate and the Office of the Ombudsman into corruption and other irregularities in government.

The Palace’s commitment was a departure from the previous Arroyo administration’s restriction on officials’ attending Senate hearings, particularly on corruption issues.

“It’s up to the new senators what they want to investigate, or what they will continue to investigate. What will be on their agenda will be decided by the returning senators as well as the new senators,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

She gave the assurance after acting Senate President Jinggoy Estrada, citing the Senate’s oversight functions, declared that senators would continue to hold inquiries in the incoming 16th Congress into alleged anomalies involving government officials.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. gave the same assurance to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, an appointee of President Aquino.

Ochoa’s assurance came after last Friday’s signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Office of the President and the Office of the Ombudsman on strengthening efforts against corruption in the bureaucracy.

Ochoa said the MOA aims to “concretize the President’s vision for a government that treads the straight and narrow path, or Tuwid na Daan.”

The signing of the MOA was also in accordance with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Integrity Management Program.

“In behalf of the OP, we would like to congratulate the people and organization behind this major initiative for successfully bringing together two important offices in order to strengthen and rationalize government initiatives against corruption,” he said.

Morales described the partnership as “historic,” as it “further exudes inspiring hope for the Philippines to foster a culture that rejects corruption and embraces the values of integrity, rule of law, sustainable development and inclusive growth.”

Under the MOA, the Office of the President and the Ombudsman shall form a joint technical working group to draft a multi-stakeholder mechanism for implementation and review of the UNCAC. A project management committee shall also be established to provide overall direction and technical support to agencies implementing the program.

The Philippines is a signatory to the UNCAC, ratified by the Senate in November 2006.

In December 2012, the OP and the Ombudsman jointly conducted a national dialogue and planning for UNCAC. 

 

 

 

ABIGAIL VALTE

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO OCHOA JR.

IN DECEMBER

INTEGRITY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

OCHOA

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND THE OMBUDSMAN

OMBUDSMAN CONCHITA CARPIO-MORALES

PRESIDENT AQUINO

SENATE AND THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

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