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PIA Press Release
2007/04/17

Ombudsman warns officials doing indirect bribery

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (17 April) -- Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Humphrey Monteroso warned public officials from doing indirect bribery especially during the election period.

During the Kapehan sa Dabaw held yesterday, Monteroso commented that public officials are not supposed to give sweet promises involving money or projects just to campaign for a candidate or a group of candidates.

This comment came about after Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan was reported to have assured local government officials under his province to get P1 million share from the administration in form of projects once they come up with a sweep vote favoring the administration candidates.

“If that report is really true, then it could fall as indirect bribery that is subject to scrutiny basing ethical standards,” Monteroso said.

The Deputy Ombudsman has urged the people to be brave enough to file complaints and as much as possible participate in the investigation of the case so as to prosecute legitimate cases.

One of the situations he called a violation for a candidate especially those incumbent to the position is the apparent use of government vehicles in campaign rallies.

“We are prohibiting that because it gives a clear advantage to the incumbent,” he said.

The office of the Ombudsman is receiving more cases during election period as it gets an average of 10 to 20 filed cases daily in all parts of Mindanao.

“We observed that this has been a trend ever since. But of the 10 cases filed, only three to four are recommended for formal investigation.” He bared that 20% of the politically-related cases filed were considered legitimate while 80% are taken as pure harassment against certain candidates.

The Office of the Ombudsman has also noted that most of the cases filed were those that have been committed long years ago and the office had seen it as a tactic simply to destroy or taint a candidate’s name. (PIA XI) [top]

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