Press Release
May 20, 2023

CHIZ WANTS TO GIVE 30% OF FORFEITED ASSETS TO OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

Sen. Chiz Escudero has filed a proposed bill that will enable the Office of the Ombudsman to retain at least 30% of the value of the ill-gotten assets acquired from the forfeiture cases that the government won in courts against corrupt public officials as a move to augment the financial resources of the country's graft busters.

Under Senate Bill 292, Escudero said proposal hopes to give more funds to the Office of the Ombudsman to help its employees effectively perform their function and mandate, as he underscored the importance of the role they play in weeding out corruption in public office.

"Funding is a major limitation to the Office of the Ombudsman when fulfilling its mandate of combating corruption. The budget of the Office of the Ombudsman pales in comparison with those allocated to its international counterparts. Consequently, corruption goes unhampered eventually leading to massive losses in government revenues, further draining our coffers," the Bicolano senator said.

"This bill intends to augment the financial resources of the Ombudsman by giving it a share in any property forfeited in favor of the State under Republic Act No. 1379 or the Forfeiture Law; and thus increase its funding. This bill provides a mechanism wherein 30% of the value of forfeited assets shall be used as funding for the Ombudsman which will assist the continued progress of cases," he added.

Escudero said institutionalizing the fixed percentage by amending RA 1379 will ensure additional funding to the Ombudsman and eliminate the need to reallocate funding from an "already stretched national budget."

"I have filed SB 292 to recognize the importance of helping the Ombudsman in fulfilling its mandate of combating corruption by giving them a share of the government properties acquired from the Forfeiture law," Escudero stressed.

Escudero's bill seeks to amend Section 6 of RA 1379 by specifying that "thirty percent (30%) of the value of such property forfeited in a final and executory order of the court shall be earmarked as additional funding in favor of the Office of the Ombudsman."

The bill further proposed that if the property is not in cash, it shall be sold at public auction and the proceeds, after deducting the 30% for the Ombudsman, shall accrue to the General Fund.

The proposed measure is currently pending before the Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

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