Istambay sa Mindanao

Personal blog of MindaNews' Walter I. Balane. Visit for more news, views and information on Mindanao.

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Location: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

I'm Walter Balane. I am a journalist based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. I initiated the group called Atong Press ( for press freedom and responsibility and media education in Bukidnon.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Updates: Corruption in Mindanao

(Note: These are some notable facts and figures I am using in an upcoming article on Corruption in Mindanao. Most of the figures were those reported as of June 2004. Updates are under request at the Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao, Davao City.)

Graft and corruption defined
Graft is the acquisition of gain or advantage by dishonest, unfair or sordid means; the Office of the Ombudsman defines, especially through the abuse of one’s position or influence.

Corruption, on the other hand, is any act done with an intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others.

“To corrupt a person is to influence him or her by improper means.”

Anti-graft laws in the country include Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic 3019), Law on Forfeiture of Unlawfully Acquired Properties (R.A. 1379), and Republic Act 7080 or the Plunder Law.

Total number of Cases in Mindanao
(From 1988 to May 2006)

Dismissed - 12, 118
With Indictment - 3, 687

Dismissed - 4,525
With Sanction - 774

[Note from Istambay sa Mindanao: According to Atty. Gay Maggie Violan, chief of the Public Assistance section of OMB - Min, those indicted will be filed cases at the criminal courts. The Ombudsman does not convict or acquit respondents. Like fiscals, they just investigate if criminal cases filed against public employees and officials have what legalese call "probably cause". But they can impose sanctions to administrative cases.]

10 Most common offenses in Mindanao
(As of June 2004)

Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act* (6,052 cases)
Malversation (1,709 cases)
Falsification (1,352 cases)
Misconduct and grave misconduct (1,067 cases)
Violations against Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards** (914 cases)
Dishonesty (508 cases)
Estafa (498 cases)
Abuse of authority and grave abuse (459 cases)
Negligence and neglect of duty (264 cases)
Physical injuries (261 cases).

*Among the acts that constitute graft and corrupt practices include persuading another public officer to perform an act constituting an offense or violation of rules and regulations, allowing himself to be persuaded, requesting or receiving gift, present, share, percentage or benefits in connection with any contract or transaction, and requesting or receiving any gift, present, or any benefit for any help given or to be given in securing or obtaining any government permit or license.

**Norms include Simple living, commitment to public interest, professionalism, justness and sincerity, political neutrality, responsiveness to the public, nationalism and patriotism, commitment to democracy

Top Seven Government Agencies where employees filed with cases at the Ombudsman work
(As of June 2004)

1. LGUs – 19, 146
2. DepEd- 3659
3. DENR – 2309
4. PNP – 1494
5. DPWH – 1,221
6. DAR – 753
7. DA – 465

[Note from Atty. Gay Maggie Violan, chief public assistance section, Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao: One factor why LGUs and DEpEd are on top of the list is because compared with others they have more employees than other agencies. LGUs include barangay captains and councilors, municipal officials and employees, city officials and employees and provincial officials and employees. DepEd includes administrative employees, teachers and officials.]

Distribution of Graft cases by Mindanao Region
(As of June 2004)

Region 11 – Southern Mindanao – 8, 844
Region 9 – Western Mindanao – 5,717
Region 10 – Northern Mindanao – 5,649
Region 12 – Southwestern Mindanao – 4,795
Caraga Region – 2, 581
ARMM – 1,461

[Note (from Atty. Violan): One factor considered why there are many cases filed in Southern Mindanao is its proximity to the Ombudsman's office in Davao City. In the same way that there are only few complaints from ARMM because it is relatively far from Davao City. Since 1988, the Ombudsman operated only in one office in Mindanao, that is in Davao City. As of June 20, 2006, they have announced the opening of its Cagayan de Oro extension office.]

[Final note: Atty. Violan stressed that the number of cases filed at the Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao might be at most 20 percent only of the actual incidence of corruption in Mindanao. "Most of the cases go unreported. It is difficult for violations to be reported by either parties that mutually benefitted from the graft and corrupt practices," she said.]


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