Ombudsman Morales: No plans to run for any position

Jodesz Gavilan
Ombudsman Morales: No plans to run for any position
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales says she looks forward to joining advocates for good governance during her retirement

MANILA, Philippines – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales is still not sure about the details of her post-retirement days, but at least one thing is clear: the Office of the Ombudsman will be her last foray into government service. 

“When you close a door, a window will open,” she said in a Rappler Talk interview. “But I am firm about my plans. I don’t intend to run for any position.”

Morales, however, said she doesn’t know if the people approaching her “would be disappointed.”

Set to retire on July 26, Morales will be the first Ombudsman in 16 years to finish a full 7-year term. She told Rappler that she “could hardly wait.”

Morales was appointed by then president Benigno Aquino III in 2011 after 9 years of serving as Supreme Court associate justice. She replaced Merceditas Gutierrez, who resigned before her impeachment trial at the Senate. (READ: The search for the next Ombudsman)

But while running in elections is not on her agenda, Morales said she will not shy away from the public and will still engage in her advocacies – including fighting corruption, which she previously said was the “reason for my life.”

“Certainly, I will not be a recluse,” she said. “I will join advocates against corruption, the advocates for good governance.”

Ten people are vying to replace Morales as Ombudsman, including Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz, Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval, and veteran defense lawyer Edna Batacan.

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) interviewed the applicants last June 20. It will submit a shortlist to President Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: Get to know the Ombudsman applicants–

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Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.