Duterte answers questions on next Ombudsman, Chief Justice

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2018 09:58 PM | Updated as of May 17 2018 04:31 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday was asked questions on his preference for the next Ombudsman and Chief Justice. 

Asked who he will appoint as the next Ombudsman, Duterte said, "I will have to consult everybody. I will have to even consult the Ombudsman people, not [Conchita Carpio] Morales, and marami, para sigurado...yung gusto ng tao," Duterte told reporters in a chance interview in Malacañang.

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A reporter then asked about the replacement for ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who was behind the president, then whispered to Duterte that it is the JBC which submits nominees for these posts to the President. 

Duterte then answered: “Mag-nominate sila pero I choose, gusto ko yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course, it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae." 

(JBC will nominate, but I will choose. I want someone who is admired for his integrity. Of course, it could not be a politician, especially not a woman.)

The interview was cut short by his aides. 

Morales, an appointee of former President Benigno Aquino III, will retire on July 26.

Ten people have been considered applicants for Ombudsman, including lawyers Edna Batacan, Rex Rico, Rey Ifurung, Felito Ramirez, and Rainier Madrid, Judge Carlos Espero II, Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires, and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz.

Applications for the Ombudsman post closed Tuesday afternoon. 

Sereno, meantime, is expected to file a motion for reconsideration on her ouster by her peers voting 8-6 last Friday.