Separation of Powers: it really matters

In the course of the testimony of hostile witness Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, the senator-judges raised their concerns over what seemed to be excessive powers of the Ombudsman, should one take the entirety of her statements as the truth. If everything Morales said is true, then she can just snoop on other government officials’ vital information without a proper court order and consent from concerned parties, the only justification of which, according to Morales herself in response to senator-judge Miriam Santiago, is the nature of the complaint.

The senator then asked:

“Are you of the opinion that should somebody file a complaint against any senator or member of the House, you can go straight to AMLC, and ask for records without going to the court or without waiting for probable cause to be found by the counsel itself?”

The Ombudsman responded by saying that it would “depend on the complaint.”

(Source: Link)

In layman’s terms, the Ombudsman can do pretty much what she wants, as far as her argument is concerned. Thankfully, defense spokesperson Karen Jimeno raised an interesting point:

Corona’s defense team said the AMLC should have first obtained a court order to look into Corona’s accounts.

Defense spokesperson Karen Jimeno said the only exceptions to this are kidnapping, hijacking, illegal drugs, not impeachment or graft and corruption.

“In this case there should have been a court order,” Jimeno said. “The question here deals with the due process of the accused.”

(Source: Link)

This is corroborated by the following provisions in the Anti-Money Laundering Act:

“SEC. 11. Authority to Inquire into Bank Deposits. — Notwithstanding the provisions of Republic Act No. 1405, as amended, Republic Act No. 6426, as amended, Republic Act No. 8791, and other laws, the AMLC may inquire into or examine any particular deposit or investment with any banking institution or non-bank financial institution upon order of any competent court in cases of violation of this Act, when it has been established that there is probable cause that the deposits or investments are related to an unlawful activity as defined in Section 3(i) hereof or a money laundering offense under Section 4 hereof; except that no court order shall be required in cases involving unlawful activities defined in Sections 3(i)(1), (2) and (12). (emphasis mine)

SEC. 3. Section 3(i) of the same Act is further amended to read as follows:

“(i) ‘Unlawful activity’ refers to any act or omission or series or combination thereof involving or having direct relation to the following:

“(1) Kidnapping for ransom under Article 267 of Act No. 3815, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code, as amended;

“(2) Sections 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 of Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002;

“(12) Hijacking and other violations under Republic Act No. 6235; destructive arson and murder, as defined under the Revised Penal Code, as amended, including those perpetrated by terrorists against non-combatant persons and similar targets;

(Source: Link)

Needless to say, it seems the Ombudsman is having unfair power over the rest of the government, which, to a rational person, should be an immediate concern. The prospect of a political entity head and shoulders above the rest in terms of power is an alarming prospect, especially to one’s freedom and privacy.

However, some people are perfectly okay with the idea. A Facebook comment about the issue of the Ombudsman’s powers said the following:

I not surprised that these bunch of senators are quite afraid of what an ombudsman can do….IT MUST SUPPOSE TO BE LIKE THAT, YES THEY MUST BE POWERFUL THAN ANYBODY ELSE! SINCE THEY ARE NOT WITH IN THE POWER OF THE PRESIDENT! THEY ARE INDEPENDENT CONSTITUTIONAL BODY… SO why be afraid if you are not hiding something? people can and will always fear of the truth if they live in LIES……..and CORRUPTION…….atleast we have a strong willed OMBUDSMAN who tried to find the TRUTH!

Another comment, from the Philippine Daily Inquirer website, had this to say:

What is there to be afraid of from the Ombudsman by government officials if they are clean? Why should the Ombudsman secure a prior court approval to investigate? What the Ombudsman is doing is just gathering evidence and to file the necessary charges if warranted based on a complaint filed. The affected government official will have an opportunity to defend himself of the charges when he is tried in court. The AMLC and Ombudsman Act should not be changed but strengthened instead.

Many other people in the Internet lauded the efforts of the Ombudsman to expose the alleged crimes of the embattled respondent, Chief Justice Renato Corona (which I will not disclose here, for the sake of brevity), and continued on making fun of the defense panel and the respondent. However, it seems there’s something crucial they consistently fail to overlook.

The problem with these people is that they’re barking up the wrong tree. Of course there’s the possibility that the senators are afraid because of something fishy they hide, but there is also a reason to worry from a perfectly logical and legally innocent perspective; after all, everything, and everyone, is corruptible.

The notion of “separation of powers” exists for an important reason. The separation of powers ensures that no one in the government can take advantage of anyone at all times. This is why the three major branches of the government exists; executive, legislative and judicial. They exist with relatively equal powers so that fairness can be achieved in every interaction; no one gains the upper hand.

The Ombudsman is no exception to this principle. The Constitution grants the Ombudsman powers, but not to the point that the Ombudsman is the most powerful entity in the country. If this happens, what stops him/her from being corrupted?

It is probable that supporters of the Ombudsman Morales support her not on a legal basis, but because she is against the respondent whom they so hate. What if the one they hate is the Ombudsman, and the Chief Justice is the one against the Ombudsman? Perhaps the story would be quite different, wouldn’t you say?

We Filipinos should be really careful with what we wish for when granting someone power. We must recognize if such power is stable or easily exploitable. Finally, we must always remember that fairness exists in the equality of the government’s branches. The title says it all; separation of powers: it really matters.

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About Arche

I'm just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.

47 Comments on “Separation of Powers: it really matters”

  1. ang masasabi ko lang kungwala kang ginawang kurakot ay wala kang daapat ikatakot .dapat miriam ang sumunod na imbistigahan ng ombusman dahil penoprotektahan si arroyo at corona pati si morales ay binabastos niya… dahil walang magawang depensa si cuevas …isunod narin ang mga judge na pumirma sa HL para malaman nila ang binangga nila..

    1. Nagbasa ka ba nung article, o derechong pino-post mo ang gusto ipapost ng amo mo? Tapos idadamay mo pa yung mga justices na pumirma sa HL sa iimbestigahan?

      Ang bobo mo. Sobra. Magsama kayo ng abnoy mong amo.

      1. hoy maypa article article kapa bakit sinusunod ba ni arroyo at corona ang batas na ginawa nila ako ay hindi makapinoy na gaya ninyo ako ay para sa katotohanan lang iakaw siguro ang maka arroyo at corona kung walang kasalanan ang mga amo mo ay sabihin mo kay cuevas na payuagan lahat ang mga ibedebsya na inihaharap ng prosecutor hindi puro i object yan ang alam ninyong depensa I OBJECT pinatawag ni cuevas si morales pero nakasama pa sa kanilang depensa .palabasin ninyo si corona at pasagotin sa mga tanong kung totoo ang sinasabi niya nawala sya kasalanan …dapat lang imbistigahan ang mga judge dahil tumatanggap sila ng lagay imulat mo ang mata mo baka mabulag kasana dahil ipinagtatanggol mo a ng magnanakaw siguro magnanakaw karin ..ang nagbubulagbulagan ay nabubulag ..karma yan karma .karma….

        1. There is no such thing as karma.

          Ikaw ay para sa katotohanan but why are you saying that Arroyo and Corona are already guilty? Wala kang evidence na maipapakita eh… Oh yeah, it wasn’t them who ratify the abomination that is the 1987 Constitution but Cory and his oligarch cronies. And PNoy himself is not following the rule of law. That constitution started the 26 years of much corruption and mediocrity. Does that make sense?

          Just accept the fact that the ‘truth’ you are seeking is what suits your feelings or makes you feel better. And thank you so much na you have proven that the dysfunctional culture is miring the country and not corruption. So naging ‘magnanakaw’ ka na rin. Gago. <_<

        2. hoy japayuki walang karma ha tingnan mo ang nangyari ke marcos at arroyo nag umpisa na…si arroyo hindi na ito gagaling kahit magpunta pa sya sa ibang bansa si cory wala na tapos na ang karma at si ninoy dahil sila ay komunista na nagpapatay sa maraming tao …huwag kang maniwala at darating yan saiyo na nagbubulagbulagan mabubullag karin..

        3. @nelson: Marcos was a crook because he was pointed as one by media pundits. By your logic, it means you’re one of the idiots who overrate his atrocities yet never realized the good things he had done, including a disciplined society (but maybe a few bit).

          Hate Arroyo all you want because in reality, THAT is what the media tells you. You didn’t even explain about the 7.6% GDP increase during her presidency. Now tell me, what do we have today?

          I will never believe you because you are blinded and misled in the first place from vindictive idiots and the biased media. Well, I you wish that I will be blinded then I hope it all goes back to you because of your evil intent.

          If I will become blind, I just want to be like… Daredevil.

    2. As an ordinary citizen, it scares me that branches of the government seem to thinl they have absolute power that respecting other people’s right are being disregarded. Why not put yourself an alleged criminal’s shoes. To publicly talk against someone taints his reputation. Then to acquire information in a malicious manner is just appaling. The supposed to be safeguard of our rights have been stepped on by people who have abused their authority.
      If you don’t like CJ Corona or former PGMA, that is very much respected by many here because that is your opinion. But to insist upon others to rally with you based on ill gotten evidences is an insult to our way of thinking. To blab about this person doing this and needs to be hanged is so medieval times.
      We have laws to uphold. Guilty or not one has the right to defend himself by invoking his right according to law. I do not care if he is corrupt. Our system is already like that. The least I expect from our public officials involved in this circus is to allow the alleged party to debunk evidences – that is the defense’s job; review amd open their minds to due process; and decide without bias.
      We all knw that the nation is divided as is. But in any arguement, evidences should speak for itself-not public opinion.

      1. may mga right kapang sinsabi bakit hindi mo sabihin yan sa sa mga kamaganak na pinapatay ni arroyo at kay mang indo na matanda at maysakit na tinutukan ni corona ng baril yung bgei na niluto nila sa kaso sa korte dahil mga kaibigan niya ang mga judge nasaan ang right ng mga taong ito ha ha!!!natatandaan mo ba ang massacre sa magidanao nuung panahon ni arroyo ,yu ng inamain ni arroyo na dayaan sa election na sabi niya ay imsorry nasaan ang mga right na sinssabi mo …kung may konsentia ka antayin mo na lang ang resulta ng empeachment dahil ang ebidebsya ay ebidebsya ..wala kayong magagawa mga tuta ni arroyo at corona huawag kayong magbulagbulagan na gaya ng ibang pilitiko dahil natatakot silang ma imbistigahan sa darating na araw ….magpunta ka sa lugak ng mahihirap para malaman mo ang sinasabi mong right ng pinoy kulong agad sila kahit walang kasalanan …sila webb at ang pal talo na sa kaso nabaligtad pa .nawala ang ebidensya pati mga witness …huwag kang mag bulag bulaganan baka makarma ka mabulag kasana…

        1. Sorry, bulag ka pa rin because you prefer a government whored by media and because of that, you keep on you tirade on Arroyo and Corona. You didn’t notice that yet I do. Saan ang source mo?

          Ebidensya ay ebidensya? Troll logic you got there. Kung magpresenta ka, dapat make sure that the evidence should be based on a reliable source. That is also used on stating FACTS. Kaya pala ang daming bobo at hindi edukado sa mundo e. At kabobohan din ang idawit si Arroyo sa Maguindanao Massacre kasi it was the Ampatuans who did it and they exist longer BEFORE GMA and never got checked on them or even Mindanao. So too much ABSCBN perhaps? Puro BIAS naman un e.

          Thank you so much for once again proving that the dysfuctional culture is the REAL problem of this country, not corruption. And people like you are a fine example, troll.

  2. Flawed logic you got there. What if Ombudsman Morales is also corrupt? The problem lies in the SYSTEM, not one person or more people.

    You’re contradicting yourself here. The prosecution who have cast the first stone due to their antics, incompetence, childish whining and even presented evidence were based from half-truths and hearsays.

    Dream on, trollfag. Miriam would never be tried since she won’t tolerate any kind of trial by publicity/trial by media shenanigans. You can never burn a house just to catch mice. Did your mama teach you that? In fact, it was all about HL and that is this trial is all about. Maka-Abnoy ka pala e. Bobo 😛

    1. ikaw aang bobodahil bayaran ka ni arroyo at corona ipinagbibili mo ang kaluluwa mo sa demonyo ..ano ang sinasabi mo hinsdi mahuhuili a ng daga tanga ang daga pag biniyan mo pain lalu nat ang pain mo ay peanut butter huli agad yan gaya ng mga amo mo na lagay na bubuhay hindi mo tatanggap ang katotohanan nag bubulag bulagan kaparin .mabulag kasana para matuto ka ng tama dahil walang itinuro ang magulang mong tama siguro binuhay ka sa mga lagay na hanap buhay ng mga magulang ninyo …bobo..

      1. Sorry, but you’re totally insane. Just because I believe more in an absolute truth and prefers on following the rule of law means na ‘bayaran’ ako ni Arroyo at Corona? Nice logic you got there, bro. What’s so bad about being in the middle ground?

        So what kind of truth are you seeking? Oh, I get it: your basing it on your feelings. Guess I am very right all along. People like you don’t deserve to be free because of it. Worse, you don’t want to take responsibility and blame it on someone else, just like PNoy. Ang saya, ‘no?

        And also, my dad have watched this impeachment trial and had better views. He’s hoping for the acquital of Corona because PNoy only wants revenge and he is desperate on getting rid of him. That’s how politics work here and it’s dirty. And you’re not educated on that matter. He even knows that PNoy is a total retard. Pinalaki ako ng mga magulang ko na maging matino at hwag maging uto-uto sa kahit sino, I’m a critical thinker. Paano mo ba akong sasabihin na bobo if:

        “Dumb people talk about PEOPLE. Average people talk about EVENTS. Intelligent people talk about IDEAS.” -Eleanor Roosvelt

        Well, you’ll never listen because that is what I can expect on squatter mentality trolls like you.

        1. hahaha!! iakaw na ang maysabi na politic ay dirty gaya ng ginawa ni arroyo at corona… ikaw ang may mentalidad na kurap gaya ng amo mo biko na kayo nagpapalussotg pa .sabihin mo ka corona ay magwitness na sya at sagutin ang mga tanong ng prosecutor para matapos na ito usapan na ito …walang ginagawa si corona kundi magtago sa palda ng asawa niya ….sawa ma karma ka sana dahil nagbubulag bulagan ka..bakit mo sabihin yan sa mga NPA tinnan natin kung tama ka…

        2. Point f*cking missed. Either way you’re just dumb or trolling. Maybe both because he has no reasonable argument to make so he resort to trolling with incorrect grammar. And I am right.

          Corona is no politician; he is a magistrate. It was the politicians themselves who dragged him in this mess, including PNoy, who is a politician. And don’t you know he’s giving millions of pesos to the NPA while he allowed many soldiers to die? Sablay ang argument mo because most of PNoy’s cabinet are composed of leftists.

          Mediocre thinking=corrupt thinking

          Deal with it.

  3. Something must be done to reign in the Ombudsman. If left unchallenged, the current interpretation of Carpio-Morales can set a dangerous precedent. The Ombudsman becomes both a prosecutor and a judge with no clear check and balance in place!

    1. tama dahil panahon na na matigil ang mga politiko at mag judge at lahat ng tao sa gobyerno para gumanda ang buhay ng mga pilipino sa pinas ..hayan binubully na ang pinas ng china walang kalaban laban ang pinas dahil walang mga baril missile na panlaban dahil kinurakot na ng mga military ang budget ..sab i nga ng pinsan kong pulis na ang baril niya baril pa ng panahon ng hapon daig pasila ng mga nagnanakaw at holdaper dahil mga bago at armalite ang baril nila ..panahon na para matapos na ang pagpapayaman ng mga politiko at mga tao ng gobyerno..huwag kayong magbulag bulagan baka mabulag kayo sana..karma yan..

      1. That includes PNoy, his minions and even those who spoke against the accused with no basis. They’re all politicians. Does that make sense?

        The SYSTEM is the problem, not the people around. Corruption is not just the government, but also the people. Paano ma-minize ang corruption dito kung ang tao mismo ay corrupt din? At sino ang nagluklok sa lokong politiko sa pwesto? E di TAO din!

        You don’t know this: democracy in the Philippines is a spectator sport. Nasa Amerika ka na kaya wala kang ideya what is actually happening after Marcos left.

  4. The Office of the Ombudsman, is now being used by Noynoy Aquino and the Cojuangcos to protect their Hacienda Luisita. It is being used to conduct Political Inquisition on Noynoy Aquino’s political enemies. The power cuts both ways…it can be used for good. If you have a good Ombudsman Judge. Or, it can be used for evil. If you have an Ombudsman Judge, beholden to those, who are in power…

  5. selective dishonesty… 🙂

    jimeno was giving you RA 9160 without the amendment of RA 9194.

    RA 9194 amended Sec. 11, the authority of AMLA(C)to inquire into bank deposits.

    Here is the amended section:

    “Authority to Inquire Into Bank Deposits – Notwithstanding the provisions of Republic Act No. 1405, as amended; Repubic Act No. 6426, as amended; Republic act 8791, and other laws, the AMLC may inquire into or examine any particular deposit or investment with any banking institution or non-bank financial institution upon order of any competent court in cases of violation of this Act when it has been established that there is probable cause that the deposits or investments involved are related to an unlawful activity defined in Section 3(i) hereof or a money laundering offense under Section 4 hereof; except that no court order shall be required in cases involving unlawful activities defined in Section 3(i)(1), (2) and (12).”

    Sec. 3(i)(1) you cited about kidnapping and ransom is still there, but it is now under Sec.3(i)(7)(l)

    Sec. 39(i)(l)now reads: underlying legal or trade obligation, purpose or economic justification.”

    Meaning if the depositor has no underlying legal or tade obligation, purpose or economic justification but his accounts in the banks have suspicious movements, the banks are mandated to report the transactions to the AMLC. This reporting mechanism does not need a “prior court order” and the amendment speaks clearly that this is one instance where a court order is not neeeded.

    http://jcc34.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/whom-the-gods-wish-to-destroy/

    1. Uh, actually, I used R.A. 9194 as my reference. I am aware that R.A. 9194 amends R.A. 9160. However, I find your interpretation quite questionable. :/

      Sec. 3(i)1 still reads:

      “Kidnapping for ransom under Article 267 of Act No. 3815, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code, as amended;”

      http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2003/ra_9194_2003.html

      Moreover, the phrase “there is no underlying legal or trade obligation, purpose or economic justification;” is a description of a “suspicious transaction,” not an exception from Sec 11. This phrase is at Sec 2, which amends Sec 3 of R.A. 9160, not Sec 3(i).

      “Section 3 of the same Act is further amended by inserting between paragraphs (b) and (c) a new paragraph designated as (b-1) to read as follows:

      “(b-1) ‘Suspicious transaction’ are transactions with covered institutions, regardless of the amounts involved, where any of the following circumstances exist:

      1. there is no underlying legal or trade obligation, purpose or economic justification;”

      (Same source)

      Yes, I find your interpretation dubious.

      1. no, my dear archie

        Sec. 3(i)(1) you cited about kidnapping and ransom is still there, but it is now under Sec.3(i)(7)(l)…

        please read the correct link….

        1. Okay, my dear jcc, I’ve studied this copy, and it’s the same with my other sources (which is to be expected).

          The thing is, even if I look at it really closely, the provision about kidnapping and ransom is really found at Sec 3(i)(1).

          What you’re talking about is at Sec 3(b-1)(1) (the phrase about underlying legal or trade obligation).

          Sec 3(b-1)(1) is NOT included in the exceptions of Sec 11. By the way, Sec 3(i)(7)(1) does not exist. Sec 3(i)(7) is as follows:

          “Piracy on the high seas under the Revised Penal Code, as amended and Presidential Decree No. 532;”

          You might want to check it out again. I admit that the whole bunch of letters and numbers can be quite confusing. I’ve re-read and re-read the whole document, but I arrive at the same conclusion.

          I welcome any corrections from you.

        2. let me correct myself:

          the provision on kidnapping and ransom is Sec. 3(7)(l)

          the provision regarding covered transaction where there is no underlying legal or trade obligation is Sec. 3(b-1)(1).

          my point stands that the banks are mandated to report suspicious movements of accounts where the depositor is not legally engage in trade and other economic activites to justify huge volumes of currency movements in his accounts, i.e., corona being a chief justice whose main duty is to dispense justice and not to money trade, had triggered a red flag that justify the monitoringof his account by the banks/amlc.
          this reporting/monitoring mechanism does not require a court order.

        3. Oh, finally. 😀

          “the provision on kidnapping and ransom is Sec. 3(7)(l)”

          * Sec. 3(i)(1)

          Anyway, you can stand by your argument, but the point is that R.A. 9194 does not cite such instance as an exception of Sec 11. Furthermore:

          “…the AMLC may inquire into or examine any particular deposit or investment with any banking institution or non-bank financial institution upon order of any competent court in cases of violation of this Act, when it has been established that there is probable cause that the deposits or investments are related to an unlawful activity…or a money laundering offense…”

          Rephrasing this passage, when AMLC has established the probability that a certain transaction is unlawful or involves money laundering, it may inquire or examine that transaction UPON A COURT ORDER. In other words, if AMLC suspects something, it must get permission from a competent court to start investigating. You might have jumbled the procedures.

          Feel free to fight for the addition of another exception. I’m just doing my best to state what the law actually says.

        1. BTW, this JCC, the way I see it, is maybe an allegedly a lawyer, but the way he comments, he’s some sort of a legal researcher.

          It’s just me.

    2. i love to hear non-lawyers twit on lawyers that their interpretation of the statute is ‘dubious.’ unlike them who read the law from its pristine form and therefore objective. Unluckily for Arche, he reads the amendments of the law without embodying it in in the law it seeks to amend.

      arche and his kind can be forgiven – here is the law as amended. please take note of the fonts in bold character because these are the amendments introduced by RA 9194.

      http://www.amlc.gov.ph/archive/RA9160.pdf

      arche has also to address the issue that there are activities of amlc that do not need court order.

      1. “i love to hear non-lawyers twit on lawyers that their interpretation of the statute is ‘dubious.’ unlike them who read the law from its pristine form and therefore objective.”

        I see, so this is how it goes. You’re a lawyer and I’m not, so I have no right to question your interpretation. You’re a lawyer, so you always view laws in an objective way. How noble of you. ^^

        “Unluckily for Arche, he reads the amendments of the law without embodying it in in the law it seeks to amend.”

        Oh, okay. 🙂

        “arche and his kind can be forgiven”

        Tee-hee. I love your wordplay. 🙂

        “arche has also to address the issue that there are activities of amlc that do not need court order.”

        Uh, haven’t I addressed that in my article? Haven’t I discussed Sec 11 of R.A. 9194? -.-

      2. yes, arche, i go over my copy and you were right on the sections… but i still maintain that the reporting of banks on suspicious transactions to the AMLC is mandated on the banks which can be done without any prior court order.

        Sec. 3(b-I)(1) which i quote: “There is no underlying legal or trade obligation, purpose or economic justification.”

        the suspicious outflows-inflows of dollars from Cj Corona’s account alerted the banks and thus reported the transactions to the AMLC. CJ Corona is a chief justice and not a currency trading professional.

        The movements of moneys in his various accounts are denoted as “suspicious” transaction which could be monitored by AMLC pursuant to Sec 7(1) which I quote:

        “require and receive covered or suspicious transaction reports from covered institutions”

        if you go back to back to covered institutions in Sec. 3(a)(1), they refer to banks, non-banks, quasi-banks, etc.

        if the possession of the AMLC of bank records of CJ Corona on “suspicious” movements of money was legal in the hands of the AMLC, sharing them with the Ombudsman, tasked with the duty of running after government thieves does not from my point of view becomes illegal.

        nor sharing the records with the Ombudsman require a prior court order.

        1. I understand your arguments. However, if you insist on your interpretation, won’t this blatantly contradict Sec 11? Sec 11 explicitly excludes AMLC’s investigation of suspicious transactions from the list of exceptions. How do we settle this dilemma? Have you considered my interpretation of Sec 11?

          Let’s try tackling this problem in another perspective. Your argument hinges on the provisions of Sec 7. It’s true that I see no “court order” in Sec 7, but what if Sec 7 simply enlists the things AMLC can do, not taking into consideration any prerequisites, since they will be stipulated in the latter sections? This is only my hypothesis, but this can solve the apparent contradiction I have raised.

          I stand by my argument that AMLC has violated R.A. 9160 (as amended by R.A. 9194) for not asking for a court order to look into Corona’s accounts.

          AMLC can investigate an account to establish suspicion using the provisions of Sec 3(b-1), and then get a proper court order to be able to examine directly.

          This is the scope of Jimeno’s argument. As to the Ombudsman part… I don’t think “sharing” was what happened. I quote from the news article:

          Santiago asked the Ombudsman whether she had the power to instruct agencies like the AMLC to probe the Chief Justice even without a written court order.

          “Under the law, you have to go to a judge, you have to get an order from a judge to get the bank accounts,” she pointed out. “‘Di niya sinunod ‘yun. At ipinipilit niya na may ganoon siyang kapangyarihan (She does not follow that. And she insists that she has those powers).”

          ———

          AMLC didn’t just share the report. The Ombudsman told AMLC to look at the report. You seem to have left this part out.

          Sec 15(5) of the Ombudsman act does stipulate that Morales can seek the help of agencies like AMLC, but I don’t think it should override other laws. By this argument, there are two possibilities:

          1. Only AMLC violated the law.
          2. Both the Ombudsman and AMLC violated the law, which is up to the discretion of the impeachment court, since the Ombudsman instigated a violation of the law.

          Still, my conclusion is that the disclosure of the bank records is illegal, since it trampled on several laws. I believe the Ombudsman Act cannot undo this.

          Sorry if this took so long. I took a bath, and I had to take a good look at the documents to be sure I’m not missing something. I’m not a lawyer, after all.

          AMLC’s compliance violated Sec 11, not to mention R.A. 6426. Remember, banks can report bank accounts (including foreign) to AMLC, but AMLC was not given the power to just look into them.

        2. Summing up my points:

          1. Restricting the arguments to Section 7 of R.A. 9160 as amended by R.A. 9194 can raise contradictions, specifically with Section 11.

          2. Sending bank account records to the Ombudsman from AMLC is not really illegal (as stipulated by the Ombudsman Act, Sec 15(5)), but such an action cannot override other laws like R.A. 9160, Sec 11 and R.A. 6426. Examining Miriam’s logic:

          AMLC must get a court order to examine the bank accounts. The Ombudsman intends to order AMLC to look into the bank accounts. So it will seem fair that the Ombudsman must get a court order to have AMLC look into the bank accounts. Or the AMLC itself can ask for the court order. But then, what’s done is done.

          Depending on the IC’s decision, the Ombudsman may be liable for instigating an offense through the AMLC.

          3. Sharing is not illegal. However, when certain provisions exist, certain conditions must be met.

          Huh, now that I think about it, a summary this long can’t really be called a “summary.”

  6. “This reporting mechanism does not need a “prior court order” and the amendment speaks clearly that this is one instance where a court order is not needed” – sinabi po dun reporting not disclosure po sa senado, and such information should not be disclosed in public because the chief justice is still under the ongoing impeachment trial, it could affect public perception and nullify due process of law…

  7. Mr. Nelson ongpauco. Kunwari ako ang ombudsman at ikaw ang isa sa pinakamayayaman na pilipino. Sabihin ko na corrupt ka? Payag ka? Kasi ako ang makapangyarihan at wala ka magagawa

  8. kung ako ay mayaman hindi kona kailangan pang magnakaws sa pera ng bayan kung iimbistagahan ako at wala akong kasalanan ay haharapin ko ang ombudsman dahil ang makasalanan lang ang nagtatago sa palda ng asawa gaya ni corona …dapat harapin niya ang korte para malaman na ang tutuo..gaya ng sina sabi niya na hindi raw niya tinutukan ng baril si mang indo pero nakuha ni raissa robles ang kopya ng affidabvit ni mang indo kung gusto ninyo ang ebidensya tinan niyo sa blog ni raissa robles naandoon lahat pati ang bahay ng anak ni corona ….

    1. You have no idea. Because no matter how you claim yourself to be clean, they will still find a way to say na may gusot ka, even to vilify you. What happened to Corona can happen to everyone. So ok lang na mabastos ka? 😛

      QFT: Most of Rassa Robles’ claims are based on half-truths and they never made it to court. Dada ng dada, palpak naman. At tsismoso pa. Ugh.

    2. yes nelson, this brouhaha over “money” laundering seldom affects ordinary people like us because we don’t have any worth monitoring by the AMLC. Bottomline is, we want a “due process” so we can protect the crooks from screwing us up big time. They want the Ombudsman to tread carefully if not gingerly so that she may not step on the foot of the “moneyed and the mighty.”

      from my point of view, let her do her mandate even if heaven falls.

      1. So you think, as an allegedly a lawyer, this ombudsman is within the bound of law with her expose in the hearing?

        I know your answer will be yes but I want to confirm it. You being an alleged lawyer or maybe an abogado de patola.

  9. Pareng nelson,di mo naman sinagot tanung ko eh. paanu nga kung sabihin ko na corrupt ka at kelangan mo makuklong? Kunwari ako pa din ang ombudsman. Payag ka?

  10. Carpio Morales’ justification just made it easier for the corrupt politicians to avoid local banks and other financial institutions altogether; better for them to stash the money elsewhere where it can still be laundered, mafia-style, and where it will be more difficult to detect.

    She thinks she has the power to just crash into people’s money, but her actions fail to take into consideration that corrupt people are also smart people. Whatever her justifications, they only hurt innocent people.

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