Ombudsman denies being 'used' by Palace

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at May 25 2012 04:32 PM | Updated as of May 26 2012 08:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Friday denied the allegations made by Chief Justice Renato Corona that she was “used” by Malacañang to present documents from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) regarding the chief justice’s dollar accounts.

“I was never ever used by Malacañang,” Carpio-Morales told reporters in a press conference.

“Hindi ako magpapagamit. I have been trying to be impartial. I have been trying to be fair. I have been trying to be impervious to influence and I’d like to believe I succeeded,” she said.

Carpio-Morales said she felt “maligned” by Corona’s statements against her, adding that she will let the public judge who between them is telling the truth.

“He asked me if I have a conscience. Yes, I have a clear conscience. I hope he has a conscience and it is as clear as mine,” she said.

Carpio-Morales said the AMLC documents that she presented to the Senate impeachment court last week were authenticated.

“I did not pick it out from the gutter. It was handed to me by AMLC director [Vicente] Aquino,” she said.

The Ombudsman said her appearance in the impeachment court as a hostile witness “was nothing personal,” and that she was merely “doing what was expected of me.”

Inquirer leak

She also denied that she was the one who leaked the “confidential” document to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Corona had accused his former colleague in the Supreme Court of allowing herself to be used by the Palace in its bid to remove him as chief justice.

“Palagay ko, nagpagamit ang Ombudsman sa Malacañang…Winawagayway niya ang isang dokumento allegedly from the AMLC [Anti-Money Laundering Council] na hindi naman authenticated,” he said.

Retirement money

Corona said animosity between him and the Ombudsman was caused by many factors, one of which stemmed from Carpio-Morales’s alleged request for a large retirement fund that the Chief Justice did not grant.

Carpio-Morales, however, said she never requested for Corona to increase her retirement benefits.

“It’s not true. I did not ask for it. I suffered in silence. I never asked for his consideration, bahala siya,” she said.

Carpio-Morales called Corona a “certified liar,” saying she only received P650,000 from the Supreme Court when she retired in 2011 despite the usual retirement fee placed at P1.5 million.

“The usual fee was raised to P1.5 million. In 2009, 6 justices retired and each got P1.5 million,” she said.

'I will not resign'

Carpio-Morales added she will not resign from her post, despite Corona’s call that she should step down as Ombudsman if proven wrong about her allegations on the dollar accounts.

“I don’t think he has proven me wrong, so I will not resign,” she said.

Corona, meanwhile, also said he will not resign as chief justice.

When the Ombudsman was asked what she would feel if Corona was convicted, she only replied by saying, “Amen.”