Sue erring employees: Ombud-A A +A
Friday, November 12, 2010
THE Ombudsman regional office is urging the public to file complaints against erring government employees in the local government units (LGUs), national offices in the regional level and other governmental structures in Northern Mindanao.
A local Ombudsman in Cagayan de Oro with office address at the ground floor of Associated Labor Union (ALU) Bldg. in Kauswagan said he received complaints against government officials and employees involved in graft and corruption.
The official, who preferred to be called "Rene," said the complaints will then be referred to Ombudsman-Mindanao in Davao City for docketing or referral to the fact-finding board.
Rene said it is the duty of the Ombudsman to accommodate requests by any individuals to investigate government workers who are misusing public funds. Rene requested anonymity in his claim that he is not used to media mileage.
He said the Ombudsman has the power to suspend officials and employees "who go astray," and that the people concerned, as complainants, have nothing to worry about and should not be afraid to going against those abusive officials.
The Ombudsman regional office here is manned by only six people, headed by assistant Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo M. Elman.
Rene clarified that the local office's main function is only to receive formal complaints, requests for assistance and requests for clearance by walk-in clients or through mails.
However, he said, in a "case-to-case basis," the Ombudsman here could attend to requests for verification and get the attention of officials or employees concerned but not to demand the latter for immediate action.
He cited an instance when a prisoner wrote the board of pardons in Manila for a possible granting of probation but his request was not acted upon. He said the Ombudsman here could write the pardons department to verify the grounds why it took them long to reply to a motion by a prisoner.
"We will then inform the prisoner on whatever the pardons department relayed onto us. That's what we do here," he said, adding, "Our office has no power to demand for the board of pardons to grant or junk the request of the prisoner."
He also cited a client's request for assistance while at the government office following up on insurance claims but was not accommodated.
Rene said a client can visit the Ombudsman regional office to request it to verify and call the attention of the employees who deliberately ignored the complainant.
"But then again, we cannot demand for the government office concerned to prioritize the said client. Our office (regional office) has no power to charge the government office concerned," he further clarified. (Loui S. Maliza)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 12, 2010.