MANILA, Philippines – Ten individuals have been considered applicants vying for the post of Ombudsman as the deadline set by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) lapsed on Tuesday, May 15.
Three informed sources from the judiciary told Rappler that the list includes a mix of private practitioners and members of the judiciary.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales is set to retire from the highly coveted post on July 26, 2018.
The Office of the Ombudsman, as mandated by the 1987 Philippine Constitution, is responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases against public officials. It is an independent office “enjoying fiscal autonomy” – one of the constitutional guarantees that helps insulate it from political influence and interference.
Below is the list and background of each applicant:
Absence, withdrawal, decline
Missing from the list of considered applicants is Solicitor General Jose Calida who is reported to be a front-runner in the race for the coveted spot. He is currently facing a graft complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged financial interest in a security agency which has government contracts.
SC Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, meanwhile, declined her nomination submitted by retired justice Arturo Brion. De Castro is set to retire from the SC in October 2018, when she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Another Davao judge, Judge Rowena Adlawan of the Davao City RTC Branch 13, initially applied but later withdrew her application, sources said.
The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is set to deliberate on the applications and hold interviews before sending a short list to President Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: How the Judicial and Bar Council works) – With reports from Lian Buan / Rappler.com
Batacan photo from her Facebook page, Bello photo by Malacañang, Dela Cruz photo from Office of the Ombudsman, Martires photo from the JBC, Sandoval and Madrid photos by Rappler
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.