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Morales on critical Ombudsman applicants: All bark, no bite

Lian Buan
Morales on critical Ombudsman applicants: All bark, no bite
‘Ang dali-dali magsabi na ganito ang gagawin namin. Wait until they go to the Office,’ says Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales

BAGUIO, Philippines – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales does not accept the criticisms toward her office lightly, saying some applicants for the post are “all bark and no bite.”

Morales was riled up at the Ombudsman Integrity Caravan in Baguio City on Monday, July 2, when she was asked about lawyer Ranier Madrid’s comment that the office focused too much on prosecution and forgot to implement preventive measures against corruption.

Madrid is an applicant for Ombudsman. Morales is retiring on July 26.

“That’s a mere perception. You know, some of these…. I did not say all of them, some of these applicants, they’re saying all these things, they are more popish than the pope,” Morales said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“At the expense of the office, for them to become Ombudsman, they’ll say this…. It’s so easy to say that they will do this, wait until they go to the office. These people, all bark and no bite,” Morales added, which received an applause from the audience.

Morales earlier snapped at another applicant, former Ombudsman prosecutor and defense lawyer Edna Herrera Batacan. Batacan said she had been a victim of corruption at the Ombudsman, to which Morales said, “If you are party to corruption, you are corrupt yourself.”

Areas of improvement

Morales said the next Ombudsman should work on improving the monitoring of cases, to prevent cases from sitting too long at the office, and which sometimes result in their dismissal.

Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval, also an Ombudsman applicant, earlier said investigators are probably being paid a “parking fee” to delay the cases, but Morales shrugged it off as rumor for now.

By implementing stricter monitoring of cases, Morales said: Malalaman mo kung ‘yung investigator ay either stupid, or natututulog, or inefficient, or simply tamad (You would know if the investigators are either stupid, sleeping on the job, inefficient, or simply lazy).”

Morales refused to say who she prefers to succeed her as Ombudsman. 

Other applicants include Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires, and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.