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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sandiganbayan and Ombudsman


SEC. 5. The Batasang Pambansa shall create a special court, to be known as Sandiganbayan, which shall have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases involving graft and corrupt practices and such other offenses committed by public officers and employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, in relation to their office as may be determined by law. (Art. XIII), 1973 Constitution.



THE OMBUDSMAN AND HIS DEPUTIES, as protectors of the people shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against officers or employees of the Government, or of any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and enforce their administrative, civil and criminal liability in every case where the evidence warrants in order to promote efficient service by the Government to the people (Section 13, R.A. No. 6770; see also Section 12 Article XI of the 1987 Constitution).

The Ombudsman shall give priority to complaints filed against high ranking government officials and/or those occupying supervisory positions, complaints involving grave offenses as well as complaints involving large sums of money and/or properties (Sec. 15, R.A. No. 6770).

Isn’t it that the Office of the Ombudsman superseded the Sandiganbayan since it was created by the 1987 constitution while the latter was created by Marcos? With all these news about the trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona on TV, and updates of ANC via Twitter, I’m interested to review my lessons in Philippine Constitution.

It seems that I was absent (or asleep) in class when our professor discussed the difference between the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan. I review the mandate of both government offices and they both have jurisdictions over charges filed against government officials. However, it seems that the Sandiganbayan specializes with cases involving graft and corruption. Is it the main difference between the two?

Enlighten me my readers.

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