• Ombudsman gets mauled in 9 of 10 legal battles

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    BATTING average of the Office of the Ombudsman in conviction rate at the Sandiganbayan has slumped into one win of every 10 closed cases.

    Data culled from the Statistics Division of the anti-graft court showed that the Ombudsman struggles at a snail’s pace as of August 2013.

    State fiscals from the Ombudsman only convicted 24 cases out of 187 disposed of at the anti-graft court.

    Of the 24 cases it won, two accused pleaded guilty, while 22 were convicted after trial.

    This translates to a conviction rate of 12.83 percent or one out of 10 cases filed and disposed of at the Sandiganbayan.

    Convictions was significantly lower than those cases dismissed without trial. Cases thrown out as of August 2013 is at 57, while those which were dismissed even before the trial started is at six.

    Accused who were acquitted is at 38, also higher than the convicted defendants.

    Even cases of defendants the Ombudsman eventually withdrew from the Sandiganbayan is higher than the conviction at 43.

    One accused turned to state witness.

    The August 2013 figure is lower than the 2012 yearend rate, when the Ombudsman settled 52 convictions out of 311 closed cases or 16.72-percent conviction rate.

    In 2011, the Ombudsman posted a P16.1-percent conviction rate with 81 wins out of 503 terminated cases.

    For this August this year, the Sandiganbayan Third Division disposed of the largest number of cases with 67, followed by the First Division (37 cases), Fourth Division (27 cases), Fifth Division (25 cases), and Second Division (17 cases).

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