'Gawin mo akong Ombudsman,' Bello tells Duterte

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2018 03:36 AM

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MANILA - Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday said he told President Rodrigo Duterte to make him the next Ombudsman.

"I kept telling the president na ang kaniyang krusada ay corruption. So sabi ko, tulungan kita," he said in a Bandila DZMM interview.

"Sabi niya, paano naman? Eh, gawin mo akong Ombudsman," he said with a laugh.

Bello has thrown his hat into the race for the position of Ombudsman, seeking to succeed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales whose seven-year term ends in July.

He submitted his application to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) last Friday, May 11.

The JBC screens the applicants and recommends appointees to the president. 

The labor chief said he took interest for the position when Duterte kept on discussing corruption.

"It's a challenge. New field sa akin 'to eh," he said.

Bello is a former justice secretary and solicitor general during the term of former President Fidel Ramos.

Under the Duterte administration, he is also in charge of negotiating peace deal with communist rebels.

DEPLOYMENT BAN

During the interview, Bello also said the government has implemented the partial lifting of the deployment ban of professional or skilled workers to Kuwait.

This, after both countries signed a deal to provide better protection for Filipino migrant workers in the Gulf state.

The deal contained provisions that will allow OFWs to keep their mobile phones, have an eight-hour workday, and a 24/7 hotline where Filipinos may report complaints.

Asked when are they going to lift the ban on household service workers, Bello said they have to observe first the effect of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the Gulf state.

"We have to find out the effect of this MOU kung talaga bang may epekto sa kalagayan ng ating mga workers. Kasi baka sa paper lang yan eh," he said.

Bello said Kuwait is home to 262,000 OFWs, wherein some 170,000 are household service workers.