Kin of victims in the Oplan Tokhang files complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman

UNTV News   •   March 15, 2017   •   4174

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — A relative of an Oplan Tokhang victim has filed double murder and an administrative case at the Office of the Ombudsman.

This is the second time that somebody filed a complaint to the Ombudsman against the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations.

A cop allegedly killed the husband and son of a certain “Gen”, not her real name, at dawn on September 15, 2016.

Eight policemen entered their house and asked the two victims to admit that they were drug pushers.

Alias Gen said, “We were all ordered to come down and my son Gabriel was left trying to stop the policemen surrounding my husband. My husband was down on his knees with his hands raised. He said he would just change his clothes. When I went out, I heard gun shots.”

WATCH: CHR denounces return of Oplan Tokhang 

Gen’s lawyer said they are looking at many angles in the killing such as “palit ulo” where an informant has to point a person to save his life.

NUPL’s Atty. Cristina Conti explained, “’Palit ulo’ may be a cause. You have to identify other people to save yourself. If you’re an informant, you have to point other people so you won’t be killed.”

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) is encouraging other relatives of those killed in Oplan Tokhang not to be afraid and to show up and file a complaint. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

WATCH: PNP relaunches operation vs illegal drugs with the creation of P-DEG 

Deployment of resident ombudsmen to graft-prone agencies to start this month — DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The deployment of prosecutors and state auditors who will serve as resident ombudsmen to government agencies prone to corruption is expected to begin this month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Thursday.

This is after the DOJ, together with the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Office of the Ombudsman, signed a memorandum of agreement that would deputize DOJ prosecutors and COA auditors as resident ombudsmen.

Their tasks include the following:

  • Bring to host government agencies the Ombudsman’s frontline services by acting on complaints and reports against officials and employees of the said agencies
  • Serve as watchdogs and implementors or corruption prevention program
  • Monitor compliance with existing anti-graft laws and regulations

“The MOA synergizes the investigatory powers of the Office of the Ombudsman, DOJ, and COA in the implementation of anti-corruption measures, this aiding the OMB and the COA in carrying out their respective mandates while also serving as a mechanism for the DOJ to attain the objectives of the Task Force Against Corruption,” the DOJ said in a statement.

“The OMB, COA, and DOH shall jointly enter into agreements with partner agencies regarding the terms of deployment of the resident Ombudsmen, which is expected to start rolling this month,” it added.

This development comes after COA included in its report alleged “deficiencies” in the Department of Health’s use of COVID-19 funds.

The issue has prompted Congressional hearings on the utilization of DOH’s funds for COVID-19 response.

PNP welcomes DOJ review of cases vs cops cleared in drug war deaths

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomes the reinvestigation of cases against police officers involved in anti-illegal drug operations and were  cleared of administrative liability by the PNP Internal Affairs Service.

The Department of Justice is eyeing to review the deaths that resulted in the course of the government’s war on drugs.

PNP Chief Police General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar assured the  full cooperation of the PNP in the planned case review.

“The PNP is open to any investigation dahil wala kaming itinatago. If the DOJ will push through with the review of the cases of those police officers who were already cleared, I will guarantee full cooperation. Ito naman ang assurance namin sa DOJ sa simula pa lang. Handa ang PNP na gawing available para sa review ng ahensiya ang alinmang case folder na hilingin nito,” he said.

The PNP previously submitted to the DOJ case folders of anti-illegal drug operations, where deaths occurred, for the agency’s review and investigation. AAC

Ombudsman will not appeal Revilla’s acquittal in 16 PDAF graft charges

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has rested its case against Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. in the controversial ‘Pork Barrel’ scam.

This after the Sandiganbayan (SB) acquitted Revilla “for insufficiency of evidence on the remaining 16 graft cases” in relation to the alleged irregularities in the Senator’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

“The SB First Division voted 3-2 to grant Senator Revilla’s Demurrer to Evidence, AND WE RESPECT ITS DECISION,” the Ombudsman said in a statement.

Furthermore, the statement stressed that Ombudsman Samuel Martires will no longer challenge the “dismissal of cases/quashal of information and judgments of acquittal, either through a motion to dismiss, a demurrer to evidence or by a decision, rendered by the trial courts or the Sandiganbayan except when the People was clearly deprived of due process or there was mistrial,” citing Revilla’s constitutional right against double jeopardy.

“A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. The grant of the court of the demurrer is tantamount to an acquittal because the defendant is cleared of the criminal case and is no longer required to present his evidence,” the Ombudsman statement explained.

Revilla was accused in 2014 of diverting his PDAF for the years 2006 to 2009 to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) linked to ex-Cagayan de Oro congressman and Pork Barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles.

The senator was alleged to have received P224.5 million kickback in the process.

Napoles was convicted of plunder in relation to the scam in 2018.

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