Duterte reviewing choices for next Ombudsman — ‘I have to talk to a lot of people’

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 20 2018 10:22 PM | Updated as of Jun 20 2018 10:43 PM

MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he has started reviewing the choices for the country’s next Ombudsman.

“I have a shortlist, men of ano talaga, unshakeable . . . but I have to talk to a lot of people, judges, lawyers and the entire gamut of the crowd of government,” Duterte said in a speech before councilors from around the country in Mandurriao district, Iloilo City.

The Judicial and Bar Council has started interviewing aspirants for the post to be vacated by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who will retire on July 26.

Among the aspirants are Edna Batacan, the lone female applicant and former lawyer of Duterte, lawyer Rey Nathaniel Ifurung, and labor secretary Silvestre Bello III.

Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz, former Sandiganbayan Justice and now Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires, former Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and now Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval are also vying for the post.

Completing the list of applicants are Judge Carlos Espero II; Rainier Madrid, lawyer of Duterte’s son Paolo; lawyer and Duterte’s fratmate Felito Ramirez; and San Beda lawyer Rex Rico.

Duterte has blasted Morales for being selective. 

In his speech today, he accused Morales of sitting on cases involving the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program under the previous administration, even though the country’s top graft-buster had just indicted former president Benigno Aquino III over the issue.