Chiz: Next Ombudsman must not be close to PNoy

By Ann Charrize Cruz

Posted at May 03 2011 07:14 PM | Updated as of May 04 2011 04:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The next Ombudsman position must not have close association with the President or any of his allies, Senator Francis Escudero told ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) on Tuesday.

Escudero, an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), added two other qualifications: he or she must have will power and he or she must have the level integrity and courage to run against those who violated the law.

“We’re looking for someone who’s not like the former [Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez],” Escudero said.

The resignation of Gutierrez will take effect on May 6, 2011, leaving the position vacant for a month.

There have been speculations regarding the next Ombudsman. Among the names mentioned are Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales and human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno.

Escudero said these names are mere speculations for now.

In the meantime, the vacant position of the Ombudsman will be taken over by the Overall Deputy Ombudsman (ODO).

The JBC is now waiting for the official notice from the Office of the President concerning the Ombudsman vacancy.

Escudero said the JBC will publish an announcement about the applications and nominations for the position Monday next week.