Photo Release

September 27, 2023

A symbolic act: Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III expresses his appreciation for the pronouncement of Ombudsman Samuel Martires that he is willing to let go of the Office of the Ombudsman's confidential funds under the proposed 2024 budget if it would tarnish the reputation and integrity of the office and its officers. Pimentel, during the hearing of Finance Subcommittee A, said he supports the Ombudsman's gesture, not because the confidential funds have tainted the office, but because it could serve as a challenge to other agencies, especially those not involved in the enforcement of penal laws and those not protecting national security. "The granting of confidential funds in the past has not tarnished your office. There is no issue with the Ombudsman. But I want it to be a symbolic act that others could follow," Pimentel said in a mix of English and Filipino, Wednesday, September 27, 2023. (Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB)