New Ombudsman seen to bolster gov’t anti-corruption drive

By Jelly Musico

July 27, 2018, 10:12 pm

MANILA – Malacañang on Friday expressed optimism that the competence and credibility of new Ombudsman Samuel Martires would augment President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against corruption.

“It is important that those (who) were appointed to the highest position have no stain of controversy and corruption,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

“The appointees of the President should serve as good example to our countrymen. He should be honest and willing to serve,” he added.

Roque said Martires has never been involved in any controversy throughout his public service as former Regional Trial Court judge in Agoo, La Union and as associate justice of anti-graft court Sandiganbayan for 12 years.

Prior to his appointment as Ombudsman, Martires served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (SC) for almost two years.

“His life has no strain of any controversy and I really admire him because he is a law expert and being recognized as one of the legal luminaries among our group of lawyers,” Roque said.

Duterte announced the appointment of Martires as new Ombudsman on Thursday during the 69th ‘Araw ng Ipil’ in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Martires has replaced Conchita Carpio-Morales, who stepped down on Thursday after she completed her seven-year term as the country’s Ombudsman.

On Friday, Duterte signed Martires’ appointment paper which was released to Palace reporters.

“Pursuant to the provisions of existing laws, you are hereby appointed Ombudsman, Office of the Ombudsman, for a term of seven years vice Conchita Carpio-Morales,” the appointment paper read.

Meanwhile, Roque clarified that Martires is not Duterte’s fraternity brother although both became classmates at the San Beda College.

Duterte is a member of Lex Talionis Fraternitas. (PNA)