‘Harassment cases’ up in Ombudsman Visayas

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


“HARASSMENT” cases against government officials and employees have reached a record-high, according to the results from the consolidated complaints and Requests for Assistance (RAS) of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) in Iloilo City.

This was revealed during the OMB Visayas’s Annual Performance Assessment and Strategic Planning Conference on Friday.

In the OMB Iloilo Field Office alone, nearly 7,000 complaints and RAS were received, evaluated, investigated and duly acted upon. Majority of those filed, were dubbed as “harassment” cases. Such complainants either failed to submit evidences to back up the complaint or the documents and testimonies as presented did not corroborate the charges.

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Deputy Ombudsman in the Visayas Pelagio Apostol said OMB Visayas has “90 percent” of these “harassment cases.”

“We can’t stop the people from filing a complaint and request for assistance,” he told delegate-officials of government agencies in Western Visayas.

“These are hazards of the profession…but just as we are committed to rid our government of corrupt workers, the Ombudsman is also committed to protect those who are doing their job. Hindi naman ako papayag na sisirain kayo (I cannot also allow that you will be harassed). That is also important part of our work in the Office of the Ombudsman,” Apostol said.

In Iloilo, a bigger “survival” rate was noted as 74 from last year’s 334 complaints were upgraded for preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication.

Iloilo Field Office also ranked first in performance vis-à-vis disposition of cases, said Deputy Ombudsman Apostol. In fact, as of December 2013, same office has a “zero-backlog” of the 2012 cases.

“Napakalaki na ng ating ginawa (We have done so much),” said Apostol. Without you, we cannot stop it. Who provides us the documents? Who provides the evidences? All of you who are our partners of the Ombudsman. Kami talaga ang dapat na magpasalamat sa inyo (We should be the one thanking you.)”

Apostol personally worked with the delegates on the formulation of new anti-graft and anti-corruption strategies per government agency and private OMB units.

“The single act of corruption is a reduction to development. Act to stop these…..Do not let the opportunity pass by…let us work together on how we can best improve our anti-corruption efforts toward development,” he said.

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