Office Of The Ombudsman Essay

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The Philippines has established the Office of the Ombudsman as the leading anti-corruption agency of the government. It is a creation of the Constitution in response to the widespread corruption during the Marcos dictatorship. Aside from the Ombudsman, the Constitution created the following independent agencies to promote honesty, integrity and accountability in government (Moratalla 2000):

1. The Commission on Audit; and
2. The Sandiganbayan.

The Constitution describes the Office of the Ombudsman as the “protector of the people” (Section 13, Article XI, Constitution). It is intended by it as an independent and autonomous body. The Office of the Ombudsman is composed of the Ombudsman, one overall Deputy, at least one Deputy each for Luzon,
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During the assumption of office of then Ombudsman Marcelo in 2002, he engaged the expertise of Mr. Tony Kwok in reorganizing the Office of the Ombudsman. With the help of Mr. Kwok, they recruited fresh graduates from the top university in the Philippines and made them undergo training on basic and advanced skills and techniques of field investigation and evidence gathering (Marcelo 2013). Unlike the ICAC, however, which had 837 field investigators for a bureaucracy of 174,175, the Philippines only had 37 investigators for a bureaucracy of about 1.5 million public officials and employees (Marcelo 2013). For 2013, the Office of the Ombudsman has 171 investigators and 368 lawyers to oversee an even bigger bureaucracy than it was in 2002.
The OD’s task was to investigate, arrest and help prosecute corrupt individuals (Kiltgaard 1991) The FIO functions like the OD in that it is responsible for the conduct of fact-finding investigations. Unlike the OD, however, the FIO does not have the power to arrest corrupt officers. It has to rely on other agencies of the government to arrest suspected public
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