Title. - This Act shall be known as “The Ombudsman Act of 1989”.
Sec. 2. Declaration
of Policy. - The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the
public service and take positive and effective measures against graft
is a public trust and must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them
with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, efficiency, act with
and justice and lead modest lives.
Sec. 3. Office
of the Ombudsman. - The Office of the Ombudsman shall include the
of the Overall Deputy, the Office of the Deputy for Luzon, the Office
the Deputy for Visayas, the Office of the Deputy for Mindanao, the
of the Deputy for the Armed Forces, and the Office of the Special
The President may appoint other Deputies as the necessity for it may
as recommended by the Ombudsman.
Sec. 4. Appointment.
- The Ombudsman and his Deputies, including the Special Prosecutor,
be appointed by the President from a list of at least twenty one (21)
prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council, and from a list of three (3)
nominees for each vacancy thereafter, which shall be filled within
(3) months after it occurs, each of which list shall be published in a
newspaper of general circulation.
In the organization
of the Office of the Ombudsman for filling up of positions therein,
cultural or ethnic considerations shall be taken into account to the
that the Office shall be as much as possible representative of the
ethnic and cultural make-up of the Filipino nation.
Sec. 5. Qualifications.
- The Ombudsman and his Deputies, including the Special Prosecutor,
shall be natural born citizens of the Philippines, at least forty (40)
years old, of recognized probity and independence, members of the
Bar, and must not have been candidates for any elective national or
office in the immediately preceding election whether regular or
The Ombudsman must have, for ten (10) years or more, been a judge or
in the practice of law in the Philippines.
Sec. 6. Rank
and Salary. - The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall have the same
salaries and privileges as the Chairman and members, respectively of a
Constitutional Commission. Their salaries shall not be decreased during
their term of office.
of the prosecution, investigation and legal staff of the Office of the
Ombudsman shall receive salaries which shall not be less than those
to comparable positions in any office in the Government.
Sec. 7. Term
of Office. - The Ombudsman and his Deputies, including the Special
Prosecutor, shall serve for a term of seven (7) years without
Sec. 8. Removal;
Filling of Vacancy. -
In accordance with the provisions of Article XI of the Constitution,
treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal
of public trust.
or the Special Prosecutor, may be removed from office by the President
for any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman, and
of vacancy in the Office of the Ombudsman due to death, resignation,
or permanent disability of the incumbent Ombudsman shall have been
for a full term. In case the Overall Deputy cannot assume the role of
Ombudsman, the President may designate any of the deputies, or the
Prosecutor, as Acting Ombudsman.
of temporary absence or disability of the Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy
shall perform the duties of the Ombudsman until the Ombudsman returns
is able to perform his duties.
Sec. 9. Prohibition
and Disqualifications. - The Ombudsman, his Deputies and the
Prosecutor shall not, during their tenure, hold any other office or
They shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any
other profession, participate in any business, or be financially
in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted
by the government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality
including government-owned or controlled corporations or their
They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their
office. They shall not be qualified to run for any office in the
immediately following their cessation from office. They shall not be
to appear or practice before the Ombudsman for two (2) years following
their cessation from office.
No spouse or
relative by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree
no law, business or professional partner or associate of the Ombudsman,
his Deputies or Special Prosecutor within one (1) year preceding the
may appear as counsel or agent on any matter pending before the Office
of the Ombudsman or transact business directly or indirectly therewith.
shall apply during the tenure of the official concerned. This
likewise extends to the law, business or professional firm for the same
period.chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 10. Disclosure
of Relationship. - It shall be the duty of the Ombudsman, his
including the Special Prosecutor to make under oath, to the best of
knowledge and/or information, a public disclosure of the identities of,
and their relationship with the persons referred to in the preceding
shall be filed with the Office of the President and the Office of the
before the appointee assumes office and every year thereafter. The
made pursuant to this section shall form part of the public records and
shall be available to any person or entity upon request.
Structural Organization. - The authority and responsibility for the
exercise of the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman and for the
of its powers and functions shall be vested in the Ombudsman, who shall
have supervision and control of the said Office.
The Office of the Ombudsman may organize such directorates for
and allied services as may be necessary for the effective discharge of
its functions. Those appointed as directors or heads shall have the
and salary of line bureau directors.
of the Overall Deputy shall oversee and administer the operations of
different offices under the Office of the Ombudsman. it shall likewise
perform such other functions and duties assigned to it by the Ombudsman.
of the Special Prosecutor shall be composed of the Special Prosecutor
his prosecution staff. The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall be an
organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman and shall be under the
supervision and control of the Ombudsman.
of the Special Prosecutor shall, under the supervision and control and
upon the authority of the Ombudsman, have the following powers:
To conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases
the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan;
into plea bargaining agreements; and
such other duties assigned to it by the Ombudsman.
shall have the rank and salary of a Deputy Ombudsman.
structure and staffing pattern of the Office of the Ombudsman,
the Office of the Special Prosecutor, shall be approved and prescribed
by the Ombudsman shall appoint all officers and employees of the Office
of the Special Prosecutor, in accordance with the civil service law,
Sec. 12. Official
Stations. - The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy, the Deputy for
and the Deputy for the Armed Forces shall hold office in Metropolitan
the Deputy for the Visayas, in Cebu City; and the Deputy for Mindanao,
in Davao City. The Ombudsman may transfer their stations within their
geographical regions, as public interest may require.
Sec. 13. Mandate.
- The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people,
act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against officers
or employees of the government, or of any subdivision, agency or
thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and
their administrative, civil and criminal liability in every case where
the evidence warrants in order to promote efficient service by the
to the people.
Sec. 14. Restrictions.
- No writ of injunction shall be issued by any court to delay an
being conducted by the Ombudsman under this Act, unless there is a
facie evidence that the subject matter of the investigation is outside
the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman.
No court shall
hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or
of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure question of law.chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 15. Powers,
Functions and Duties. - The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the
following powers, functions and duties:
Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any
act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency,
such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or
It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan
and, in the exercise of his primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at
any stage, from any investigatory agency of government, the
of such cases;
upon complaint or at its own instance, any officer or employee of the
or of any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as
government-owned or controlled corporations with original charter, to
and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and
correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties;chan robles virtual law library
officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer
employee at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty
required by law, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine,
censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith; or enforce
disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21of this Act: Provided,
That the refusal by any officer without just cause to comply with an
of the Ombudsman to remove, suspend, demote, fine, censure, or
an officer or employee who is at fault or who neglects to perform an
or discharge a duty required by law shall be a ground for disciplinary
action against said officer;
officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such
as it may provide in its rules of procedures, to furnish it with copies
of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his
office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties,
and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate
any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the
of its responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent
matters covered by its investigation of the matters mentioned in
(1), (2), (3) and (4) hereof, when circumstances so warrant and with
prudence: Provided, that the Ombudsman under its rules and
may determine what cases may not be made public: Provided further, That
any publicity issued by the Ombudsman shall be balanced, fair and true;
the causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud, and
in the government and make recommendations for their elimination and
observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency;
oaths, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, and take testimony in
investigation or inquiry, including the power to examine and have
to bank accounts and records;
contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court and under the same
and with the same penalties provided therein;
to the Deputies, or its investigators or representatives such authority
or duty as shall ensure the effective exercise or performance of the
functions, and duties herein or hereinafter provided;
and initiate the proper action for the recovery of ill-gotten and/or
wealth amassed after February 25, 1986 and the prosecution of the
give priority to complaints filed against high ranking government
and/or those occupying supervisory positions, complaints involving
offenses as well as complaints involving large sums of money and/or
Sec. 16. Applicability.
- The provisions of this Act shall apply to all kinds of malfeasance,
non-feasance that have been committed by any officer or employee as
in Section 13 hereof, during his tenure of office.
Sec. 17. Immunities.
- In all hearings, inquiries, and proceedings of the Ombudsman,
preliminary investigations of offenses, no person subpoenaed to testify as
a witness shall be excused from attending and testifying or from
books, papers, correspondence, memoranda and/or other records on the
that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of
may tend to incriminate him or subject him to prosecution: Provided,
no person shall be prosecuted criminally for or on account of any
concerning which he is compelled, after having claimed the privilege
self-incrimination, to testify and produce evidence, documentary or
otherwise. chan robles virtual law library
Under such terms
and conditions as it may determine taking into account the pertinent
of the Rules
of Court, the Ombudsman may grant immunity from criminal
to any person whose possession and production of documents or other
may be necessary to determine the truth in any hearing, inquiry or
being conducted by the Ombudsman or under its authority, in the
or in the furtherance of its constitutional functions and statutory
The immunity granted under this and the immediately preceding paragraph
shall not except the witness from criminal prosecution for perjury or
testimony nor shall he be exempt from demotion or removal from office.
to appear or testify pursuant to the aforecited provisions shall be
to punishment for prompt contempt and removal of the immunity from
Sec. 18. Rules
of Procedure. -
The Office of the Ombudsman shall promulgate its rules of procedure for
the effective exercise or performance of its powers, functions, and
of procedure shall include a provision whereby the Rules
of Court are made suppletory.
shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their
publication in the Official Gazette or in three (3) newspapers of
circulation in the Philippines, one of which is printed in the national
Sec. 19. Administrative
Complaints. - The Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating,
not limited to acts or omissions which:
Are contrary to law or regulation;
unfair, oppressive or discriminatory;
with the general course of an agency’s functions, though in accordance
with law; Proceed from a mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment
facts; Are in the exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper
purpose; or Are otherwise irregular, immoral or devoid of justification.
Sec. 20. Exceptions.
- The Office of the Ombudsman may not conduct the necessary
of any administrative act or omission complained of if it believes that:
The complainant has an adequate remedy in another judicial or
pertains to a matter outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the
is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith;
has no sufficient personal interest in the subject matter of the
was filed after one year from the occurrence of the act or omission
Sec. 21. Officials
Subject to Disciplinary Authority; Exceptions. - The Office of the
Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and
officials of the Government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and
agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local government,
government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over
who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress, and
Sec. 22. Investigatory
Power. - The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the power to
any serious misconduct in office allegedly committed by officials
by impeachment, for the purpose of filing a verified complaint for
In all cases
of conspiracy between an officer or employee of the government and a
person, the Ombudsman and his Deputies shall have jurisdiction to
such private person in the investigation and proceed against such
person as the evidence may warrant. The officer or employee and the
person shall be tried jointly and shall be subject to the same
Sec. 23. Formal
Administrative investigations conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman
shall be in accordance with its rules of procedure and consistent with
due process.chan robles virtual law library
(2) At its
the Office of the Ombudsman may refer certain complaints to the proper
disciplinary authority for the institution of appropriate
proceedings against erring public officers or employees, which shall be
terminated within the period prescribed in the civil service law. Any
without just cause in acting on any referral made by the Office of the
Ombudsman shall be a ground for administrative action against the
or employees to whom such referrals are addressed and shall
a graft offense punishable by a fine of not exceeding five thousand
(3) In any
under this Act, the Ombudsman may (a) enter and inspect the premises of
any office, agency, commission or tribunal; (b) examine and have access
to any book, record, file document or paper; and (c) hold private
with both the complaining individual and the official concerned.
Sec. 24. Preventive
Suspension. - The Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend
any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation,
in his judgment, the evidence of guilt is strong, and (a) the charge
such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave
or neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the charges would warrant
from the service; or (c) the respondent’s continued stay in office may
prejudice the case filed against him.
suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of
the Ombudsman but not more than six months, without pay, except when
delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is
due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, in which
the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period
suspension herein provided.
Sec. 25. Penalties.
In administrative proceedings under Presidential Decree No. 807, the
and rules provided therein shall be applied.
administrative proceedings, the penalty ranging from suspension without
pay for one year to dismissal with forfeiture of benefits or a fine
from five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) to twice the amount malversed,
taken or lost, or both at the discretion of the Ombudsman, taking into
consideration circumstances that mitigate or aggravate the liability of
the officer or employee found guilty of the complaint or charges.
Sec. 26. Inquiries.
The Office of the Ombudsman shall inquire into acts or omissions of a
officer, employee, office or agency which, from the reports or
it has received, the Ombudsman or his Deputies consider to be:
of the Ombudsman shall receive complaints from any source in whatever
concerning an official act or omission. It shall act on the complaint
and if it finds the same entirely baseless, it shall dismiss the same
inform the complainant of such dismissal citing the reasons therefor.
it finds a reasonable ground to investigate further, it shall first
the respondent public officer or employee with a summary of the
and require him to submit a written answer within seventy-two hours
receipt thereof. If the answer is found satisfactory, it shall dismiss
contrary to law or regulation;
unfair, oppressive, irregular or inconsistent with the general course
the operations and functions of a public officer, employee, office or
in the application or interpretation of law, rules or regulations, or a
gross or palpable error in the appreciation of facts;
improper motives or corrupt considerations;
or inadequately explained when reasons should have been revealed; or
performed or otherwise objectionable.