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COA, Ombudsman renew MOA in speedy disposition of high-profile cases

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The Commission on Audit (COA) and the Office of the Ombudsman renewed its partnership to speed up the investigation of high-profile corruption cases involving at least P100 million in taxpayers’ money.

This after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and COA Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo renewed its memorandum of agreement (MOA) in the creation of a Joint Investigating Team (JIT) Priority Lane.

The two constitutional bodies would deem such high-profile cases “imbued with public interest.”

Through this priority lane, these cases would be immediately filed, docketed and subjected to preliminary investigation.

Under the MOA, a secretariat is tasked to monitor the cases and records-keeping. A joint investigation report will then be submitted to the JIT panel for approval, before a complaint affidavit will be signed by the COA chair for filing at the Ombudsman.

The agreement was renewed following a spate of corruption cases dismissed by the Sandiganbayan over the Ombudsman’s inordinate delay in investigating the case that violate the accused official’s right to speedy disposition of cases.