Pimentel wants Senate probe into continuing LGU corruption

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is seeking a Senate inquiry into the Ombudsman’s report that for four consecutive years since 2011, local officials have topped the list with the most number of cases filed before the antigraft body.

Pimentel filed Senate Resolution 1260, directing the Senate committee on local government and other appropriate committees to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation why local officials topped the list of those facing graft cases before the Ombudsman.

In the resolution, the senator pointed to the Ombudsman’s report containing a list of government agencies whose officials have the most number of Ombudsman cases filed in 2014.

“Alarmingly, since 2011, or for four (4) consecutive years, the most number of Ombudsman cases have been filed against officials of local government units (LGUs),” the resolution reads.

Pimentel said it has become imperative to conduct an inquiry into the report “to find out the varying forms of graft and corrupt practices,” in view of his proposed “Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice” bill that would bring more resources to local government units (LGUs).

“Before this bill becomes law, positive steps must be taken to fight and eventually eradicate corruption at the local level,” he said in another statement on Thursday.

The senator said that pursuant to the strong anti-corruption mandate of the Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman was created to repress certain acts of public officers and private persons alike constituting graft or corrupt practices.

He cited Article 11, Section 27 of the Constitution that provides “the State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption,” while Art. X1, Sec. 1 states, “Public office is a public trust.”