Palace says Office of the Ombudsman "should be open to any probe"
The Office of the Ombudsman should be open to any investigation, the Palace said Saturday.
"The OMB ( Office of the Ombudsman) should be open to any probe that would check into alleged corrupt practices amongst its officials and employees to underscore that there are no sacred cows in the Government," said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella in a statement.
"We recognize that the Office of the Ombudsman has the constitutional duty to probe erring government officials. As the protector of the people, the OMB is expected to act promptly on complaints filed against officers or employees of the government," he said.
"The sad reality, however, is that the OMB is not exempt from allegations of corruption, which the President said, need to be investigated," he added.
Abella issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte warned he will create a commission investigating officials of the Office of the Ombudsman.
"You have to be investigated also. One of these days, I will surely go after you because of your partiality," Duterte said in a recorded interview on Wednesday but aired by state-run People's Television Network on Thursday.
"If you won't investigate yourselves, I will set up a commission to investigate you as a president with investigating powers," he added.
The president's warning came after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales confirmed that they have begun the investigation on alleged undeclared wealth of Duterte and his family.
In a statement issued last Friday, Morales welcomed the announcement of Duterte to investigate the officials within her office.
"This Office, all the same, welcomes, as it has always welcomed, efforts to help it cleanse its ranks. Its Internal Affairs Board has, in fact, entrapped and removed Ombudsman officials and employees for various offenses," she said.
"If the president has nothing to hide, he has nothing to fear," she added. Robina Asido/DMS