Ombudsman: Pork probe won't take more than a year
MANILA – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales estimates that it would take them no more than a year to finish the preliminary investigation on the pork barrel case.
"It could be less, but I'll see to it that it won't take more than a year," she said during the Senate budget hearing on Tuesday.
Morales said that they would now have to go over the voluminous documents, findings and recommendations submitted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and then check it with their own findings.
Only then would they subject the case to preliminary investigation.
Morales also said that they would be filing cases by batch in the Sandiganbayan, as the NBI also filed cases by batch.
Morales also clarified during the hearing that the Ombudsman has no administrative or disciplinary jurisdiction over Congress, and that it is the Sandiganbayan which can issue a suspension order to the three senators with regards to the plunder law.
The Office of the Ombudsman has requested a 3.79% increase from their previous P1.7 billion budget for 2014.
Morales reported that there are more than 5,000 criminal cases and another 5,000 administrative cases pending before the Ombudsman for the first semester of the year.
An additional budget, the Ombudsman said, would help them increase their disposition rate and beef up their staff.
Morales said that they have more than 800 unfilled positions in their office, 448 of which are lawyer positions.
She said that the pay is not competitive enough to attract candidates in the position.