MANILA, Philippines – Ombudsman Samuel Martires questioned a recent memo from the Presidential Management Team (PMS) that requires all presidential appointees to obtain clearances from the Office of the Ombudsman, saying they already face a long delay.

Martires, in an interview with DZRH, said they have more than 4,000 documents to process in the Quezon City central office alone – with another 4,000 documents in the regional office in Visayas – which leaves them no choice but to refrain from giving special treatment to the TPM Order.

Authorizations are obtained from the Ombudsman for a variety of reasons, but they are mostly certifications that a government official does not have any cases pending with the anti-corruption office.

“My question is that we must first define who these appointees by the President are, does this include secretaries? Does this include those appointed by the President who are career directors? Who are these presidential nominees mentioned? With the doubt about what will happen, we will not give special treatment to those who are requesting release because of this PMS requirement”, said Mártires.

“Our order book has now increased to over 4,000 but that is just for the head office ha, Visayas has also increased to around 4,000 […] this is due to the requirement of the Audit Committee of the Public Service Commission, even for the monetization of leave credits, employees have to obtain authorization from the Ombudsman,” he added.

With this delay, Martires said he would prioritize the release of those who are retiring and those who are being promoted.

“As I said, I'm not going to give, we're not going to give any special treatment to our friends, even if just for that reason, because we now give priority to those who are in the process of retirement and promotion, that's what's important”, he pointed out. outside.

Martires also questioned the sudden demand from the PMS and the short deadline given, asking what would happen to those appointed who did not present themselves due to the enormous delay by the Ombudsman.

Martires was referring to a PMS memo dated February 2 where PMS chief Elaine Masukat required all serving presidential appointees to submit their “updated Personal Data Sheet, clearances from the Civil Service Commission, National Department of Investigation, Office of the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan.”

Appointees are urged to comply within 30 days of issuance of the memorandum, which is reportedly based on the directive of Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin.

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