THE Ombudsman-Mindanao has started its investigation on alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Ampatuans, which have been allegedly amassed during their tenure as elected officials of Maguindanao for the past decade.

An Ombudsman officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they are now in the process of looking at the statements of assets and liabilities and networth (SALN) of the members of the Ampatuan clan.

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The officer said that many of the properties owned by the Ampatuans are actually not declared in their SALN's. The official said that this is in violation of the law and the government has the right to sequester them.

"Kaya baka sa sunod ay dun na kami mag-ooffice sa isa sa mga mansion ng mga Ampatuan," the Ombudsman officer jested.

The officer did not divulge to which of the properties were undeclared and who among the Ampatuans have violated the law.

Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni earlier said that eight of the Ampatuan members will face administrative cases before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Jalandoni said that the clans' wealth is questionable, noting that the compensation of a government official is just enough, and could never buy several mansions and vehicles scattered all over the country. The Ampatuan assets could reach up to P3 billion, but some say it could even be more.

In the website of the Department of Interior and Local Government, among the Ampatuans listed as elected officials were Datu Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan, Datu Yacob Ampatuan, Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr., Saudi Ampatuan Jr., Saudi Sean Ampatuan III, Muhammad Ampatuan Bahnarin, Norodin Ampatuan, Datu Anwar Ampatuan, and Farida Lioasan Ampatuan. (BOT)