THE Office of the Ombudsman said on Friday, September 29, that the Duterte administration is welcome to investigate the office.
Ombudsman issued such statement after President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Thursday, September 28, that he is forming a commission that will look into alleged corrupt activities in the anti-graft office.
"Sorry, Mr. President, but this Office shall not be intimidated," the Ombudsman said in a statement posted on its official website.
The Ombudsman said the President’s announcement to create a commission to investigate the Ombudsman appears to have to do with the office’s ongoing investigation into issues that involve him.
It added that the office, nonetheless, shall proceed with the probe into the Duterte family’s wealth, as mandated by the Constitution.
"This Office, all the same, welcomes (the President to conduct investigation), as it has always welcomed efforts to help clean its ranks," the Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman said its Internal Affairs Board has entrapped and removed its officials and employees for various offenses.
As to the documents in its possession, the office stands by its word, the Ombudsman said, adding that if the president has nothing to hide, he has nothing to fear.
Duterte earlier hinted that Ombudsman prosecutors have received bribes from military, police and local officials in exchange for dismissing graft cases.
He said he is ready to give away the alleged P200 million believed to be in his bank accounts, if found true. The President, however, denied the reports.
Though there is a separation of the three branches of the government, Duterte said that as President, he has the power to call for an investigation on the Ombudsman.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 01, 2017.
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