Moving in with the next Ombudsman

TILL the end, disgraced Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez  showed she never runs out of reasons for any decision – bad or good – she took.

For her decision to hoist the white flag in submission a few days before her much-anticipated impeachment trial at the Senate could commence, Merci still attempted to make a relieved citizenry  believe she did not really want to resign, but was only compelled to do so – for  (and brace yourselves for this one, fellas!) a NOBLE purpose: to spare the Congress from the rigor of a long, litigation that could further polarize its members and make them renege in the performance of  their constitutional duties.

Merci added a few  more collatillas : to sal-vage the badly torn image of the Ombudsman as an institution and spare its employees from further ignominy; to spare the innocent – her immediate family, especially – from eternal shame; and to  heal a deeply wounded/divided nation.

The truth, of course, can now be told.

She received a severe tongue-lashing from her acknowledged patron for her god-like efiance. Madam patron (the buzz account persisted) even curtly asked Merceditas to give it up quick now, and  spare countless more from virtual prosecution/incarceration the moment the impeachment prosecution team detonated its ICBMs of damning evidence in all the articles of impeachment  thrown against her.

Gutierrez’s resignation,  which  averted what could have been a humiliating impeachment trial, did not a bit change public perception that she, unquestionably, was the chief stumbling block to the country’s anti-graft and corruption campaign during the GMA Administration.

The ‘escape option’ Merci chose still sent her dashing to the corridors of infamy which, and very unfortunately, her entire family is bound to share/suffer, till the end of time.

And yet, that did not put closure to the SINS and OMISSIONS Merci did. ‘Di lang basta ganun yon,’ cried an advocacy leader whose various complaints against abusive/corrupt public officials before the Office of the Ombudsman systematically fell on deaf ears.

The resigned Ombudsman should still be haled before all pertinent judicial/quasi-judicial for.

For, nothing short of that process can  provide final relief to a citizenry long agitated and  angered by Gutierrez’s  improprieties/misdeeds/omis-sions in office.

It would do this nation good if the President quickly comes up with a well-considered replacement Ombudsman – and his/her coterie of  underlings/assistants, that should, of course, not only be competent but with impeccable/unsullied integrity.

The nation eagerly awaits this next episode.

There are tons of ‘sidelined’ complaints to be revived in the Office of the Ombudsman.

The mechanical act of ‘undusting’ them should now begin, followed by disposing of them, without  ‘Ombudsmanic’  (or too much) delay.

Then and only then can an anticipating citizenry really say, “The ultimate machine against graft and corruption in this country is now at work!”


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