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MANILA, Philippines – Merceditas Gutierrez, the Ombudsman during the Arroyo administration who was impeached by the House in 2011, was appointed acting member of the Board of Trustees of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Gutierrez took her oath before Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on Friday, April 28.
The new GSIS acting board member has had a long and storied tenure in government – from work as a legal officer of the Office of the President under the first Marcos president, to being acting justice chief.
Prior to being appointed Ombudsman in 2005, Gutierrez was anti-graft chief and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s chief presidential legal counsel. She was the first woman to head the Office of the Ombudsman.
An impeachment case was filed against her in 2009, but this was deemed not “sufficient in substance” by a House committee on justice then headed by an Arroyo ally.
By 2010, the political scenario had shifted. In a House now dominated by allies of then president Benigno Aquino III, Gutierrez was impeached for allegedly not acting on corruption scandals during the Arroyo administration. She was later found to have “betrayed public trust.”
The Articles of Impeachment were submitted to the Senate, which would determine if she would be removed from office. But before the trial started, Gutierrez resigned.
Gutierrez is not the only prominent Arroyo-era official to have found a post in the Marcos administration. Bersamin, who administered her oath, was appointed to the Supreme Court by Arroyo in 2009. In 2018, he was appointed Chief Justice by former president Rodrigo Duterte.
Arroyo and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are allies.
The former Ombudsman is not the only one from her family in government service under the Marcos administration. Her daughter, Margarita, is spokesperson for the local government department. – Rappler.com