Ombudsman: I’m not Aquino’s lapdog
MANILA, Philippines—Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Wednesday denied being a lapdog of the Aquino administration.
Morales was asked by reporters for a reaction to accusations that her office bowed to the administration’s wishes to facilitate the filing of plunder charges against various personalities who are mostly Aquino’s political foes.
Morales, who was present at the House of Representatives for the budget plenary debates, said she would listen to the public’s voice rather than her critics.
“I’m leaving it to the public to judge well if I am fair or not. Of course, those who are indicted in court will say I am a lapdog of Malacañang, but I’m sorry, I’m not that,” Morales, a former Supreme Court Associate Justice, said.
“I have to carry out my mandate so that I will say to myself that I’ve done my job in accordance with my mandate,” she added.
The Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause on the complaint by the Department of Justice and filed the plunder and graft charges against Senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile over the alleged pork barrel scam.
The Sandiganbayan is hearing the pork scam cases, which also involved alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, Enrile’s resigned chief of staff Atty. Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, among others.
Morales said she is satisfied with the progress of the anti-graft court in handling these cases.
The court has yet to conduct the pre-trial of the three cases, as both defense and prosecution are still conducting the preliminary conference. The court, in the meantime, is hearing the accused’s bail motions from plunder.
“I’m happy about the development of the case… I know that the justices are fair. I know that the prosecutors are doing their job they are carrying it out, and so, I’m happy about this,” Morales said.
Enrile, Estrada and Revilla have decried political persecution in the plunder charges. They are now under police custody as they stand trial for the scam.
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