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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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‘Decisions out soon
on raps vs. officials’

BY CARLA GOMEZ

Negros OccidentalGov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella yesterday called on the Office of the Ombudsman to come up with long delayed decisions on pending cases against local government officials.

The two officials spoke before a crowd of 5,000 at the International Anti-Corruption Day celebration at the Panaad Sports Stadiumin Bacolod City.

Marañon said there are many cases pending that have grown cobwebs before the Office of the Ombudsman because, until now, they have not been acted on.

Decisions need to be made so the innocent can be cleared and those with evidence of corruptioncan face charges, the governor said.

Puentevella called on the Ombudsman to resolve all pending cases against government officials in the Visayas, including himself, in the interest of the nation and not of vested interest.

He said he also hopes the charges against former Deputy Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni, for what he called the illegal dismissal of cases, are resolved.

Evangeline Ganibe Nuñal,chief for the Public Assistance Mediation and Graft Prevention Office of the Office of the Ombudsmanbased in Iloilo, said OmbudsmanConchita Carpio-Morales hasa zero backlog program.

They may be surprised that anytime this month the cases they are asking to be resolved will be released, she said, of the call of Puentevella and Marañon for action.

Action will be taken on all the cases pending all over the country that will be released soon because of the zero backlog policy that orders action on cases pending since 2012 and below, she added.

On the call of Puentevella for a probe on decisions made by Jalandoni,she said the Ombudsman's central office is already acting on it and the media will be informed of its outcome.

The international activity against corruption yesterday was being held to inspire people to live a life of integrity, transparency andaccountability in the serviceof the Filipino people and for them to take an active part in the anti-corruption programs in Negros Occidental, she said.

Marañon, reacting to Nunal’sassurance of decisions to be released, said“very good, I hope theyrelease all the decisions soon.”

There is also a lot corruption because of the delay in the Ombudsman's action, but the common reason given is lack of personnel, he said.

The Philippines is very rich yet is very poor because the wealth of the nation has not been equitably distributed, the governor said. Many Filipinos are poor because the Philippines is the 99th most corrupt country in the whole world, he added.

There would be no corruption if there are those who do notcorrupt, he added.

He called on the business community, headed by Frank Carbon, president of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to urge the private sector not to corrupt those working for government, whose salaries are verylittle.

“There is no corrupt official if there is no corrupter.Corruption is a two-way thing,” he said.

He also challenged the public to report the corrupt at the Capitol so they can have them investigated, Marañon said.

A battery of other sectoral representatives also spoke at the affair.*CPG

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