Retiring chief graft buster reflects on feats in 7-year watch

By Perfecto Raymundo, Jr.

July 24, 2018, 5:22 pm

MANILA -- Outgoing Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has showcased all the accomplishments of her office during her seven-year term as head of the anti-graft body.

During her last press conference Tuesday, Morales, who is set to retire as chief government graft-buster on Thursday, beamed with pride as she expressed hope that whoever replaces her may continue the stringent focus on graft cases that she has started.

“My successor should just be able to bring out the truth. I don’t remember having (to) come up with fake news. I trust (that) the next Ombudsman should be able to know which cases should be given priority,” Morales said.

The outgoing Ombudsman reiterated that she has no plans of entering politics, adding that she is "no cut" for it. Instead, she is excited to return to her normal life as a private citizen.

Aside from the cases involving former high-ranking officials, including former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada whom she has charged before the Sandiganbayan, Morales said her office is also investigating the officials of the current administration who have pending cases, including presidential son, Paolo Duterte.

On the other hand, Morales said her office respects the change in the leadership of the House of Representatives, adding that she has no hard feelings that she was not invited to the third State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday.

The country's chief graft-buster also urged Duterte to take a look on the benefits that the workers of the Office of the Ombudsman should be receiving.

“If I were President, what would I have done for the Office of the Ombudsman? I would have praised the Office of the Ombudsman for its relentless campaign against corruption,” she said.

“I also would have boosted the retirement bill to the Senate for the office so our good people are not pirated by other government agencies,” she added.

The Judicial and Bar Council has released its shortlist of Ombudsman applicants, which include Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires, Ombudsman Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval and private lawyer Felito Ramirez. (PNA)