Samar bloc wants Tuquero as Ombudsman?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2011 08:16 PM | Updated as of Jul 09 2011 04:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Samar bloc in Malacañang is reportedly lobbying for the appointment of former Justice Secretary Artemio Tuquero as the next Ombudsman.

ABS-CBN News sources said Executive Secretary Paquito "Jojo" Ochoa, a member of the Samar group, is backing Tuquero for the post.

Ochoa has yet to comment on the issue.

Tuquero is seen as the top rival of former Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio Morales for the position vacated by Merceditas Gutierrez, who was impeached and subsequently resigned last April.

Ochoa has declined to comment on the issue, which will only come to rest when President Benigno Aquino appoints the new Ombudsman.

A source said Tuquero can be a "compromise choice," as he can be used as a bridge between the Palace and the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC).

Tuquero, who served as justice secretary during the short-lived Estrada administration, is a member of the politically influential INC.

The Samar bloc is a faction in the government which supported Noynoy Aquino and now Vice President Jejomar Binay in the 2010 elections.

Aquino on Friday appointed former UP professor and San Miguel Corp. lawyer Francis Jardeleza as new deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.