MANILA, Philippines—Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales graced the Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2017 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
She is one of the special guests as a past awardee of Asia’s premier prize and highest honor.
Morales addressed the recent statements of President Rodrigo Duterte against her including her alleged questionable term as the Ombudsman as well as the purported “selective justice” of her office.
Morales said she is just following what the law states in Ombudsman Act of 1989, Section 8.3, that she must serve the seven-year full term.
She was appointed by former president Noynoy Aquino and she will finish her term next year.
“It says that when ombudsman leaves the office by reason of death, removal, resignation, or permanent disability, the overall deputy ombudsman, shall be the acting ombudsman until a new ombudsman is appointed who shall serve for a full term. Sinusunod lang namin ang tanong na yun,” Morales said.
Morales also answered President Duterte’s criticisms that her office practices selective justice.
The President was alluding to the PDAF cases filed against the members of the opposition in the past administration which Morales said have already had testimonial evidence.
Majority of the cases they filed were against the members of the opposition of then President Aquino.
“We give priority to high profile cases, high government officials, officials who hold supervisory positions or cases that involve huge amount of money or big properties,” Morales added.
The Ombudsman said her office inherited more than 19,000 cases, most of which date as far back as 1999.
So far, Morales said she is proud to report that they only have around 6,000 pending cases.
Meanwhile, Ombudsman Carpio-Morales revealed that the preliminary investigation on the multiple charges filed by the camp of the Davao Death Squad member and self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato against President Duterte has started, but she inhibited from the case because, she said, it involves her nephew’s father-in-law. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue