FROM the very first time PNoy showed his keen preference for former Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales to be the best replacement for ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s appointee and House-impeached Merceditas Gutierrez as top graft-buster, it’s been assumed by many that the sensitive post is already in the bag for her.
If only it were not a requirement being part of the process, what the Judicial and Bar Council did could be just a waste of time and money that it even came out with a long list of contenders only to reduce it to mere four with PNoy’s bet, who’s also the choice of Justice Sec. Leila de Lima, a JBC member, for her “high sense of independence,” obviously was the race’s front-runner.
True to what many had thought to happen, the former high tribunal magistrate is now the new Ombudsman with no less than PNoy breaking the news in his July 25 State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Congress.
Again, I wouldn’t want to entertain such vicious perception that the JBC had served only at the pleasure of the President citing its members like Senator Chiz Escudero, Rep. Niel Tupaz Jr. and De Lima who undoubtedly are pro-PNoy.
I don’t want to believe that politics plays key role here as I have high regard to the new Ombudsman who seems to be the right choice given her 12-year stint with the DOJ where she’s tasked with reviewing petitions ari-sing from resolutions of the city fiscal’s office and the provincial fiscal’s office before she became a GMA appointee in 2002 as SC’s 151st magistrate.
Nevertheless, it would have been bet-ter for the President if he had not been vocal as to his leaning for her and instead let the JBC pick the best among the best only to avoid such pesky supposition that the tandem of PNoy and 70 years old Morales would be no different from that of GMA and Merci.
There have been speculations that she would deal harshly on cases that appertain to the presidency of PNoy’s pre-Well, let’s observe a wait-and-see attitude here. Let’s not pre-judge her as she’s vowed to “prosecute those who ought to be prosecuted and ward off any extra-legal factors which impede the prosecution.”
Saying she doesn’t have such “magician-genius qualification” with that of Orlando Casimiro who, as acting Ombudsman in place of Gutierrez that resigned before a trial on her impeachment could start at the Senate, managed to file 3,000 cases in a matter of one-and-a-half months, Morales is bent on instituting reforms by doing an inventory of all the cases that are either pending determination of probable cause or pending litigation at the Sandiganbayan.
Coming off from a “Merci-kind” of controversy, it should serve as a mirror for Morales to think not only twice but thrice in her actions so as not to compromise the integrity of the anti-graft office that she’s now at its helm to rebuild it.