MANILA, Philippines?President Aquino said on Sunday his government would be preparing to file graft and corruption cases against officials and personalities from the previous Arroyo administration but that the focus now is on finding a new Ombudsman who will replace Merceditas Gutierrez, who resigned effective May 6.
The President said he wanted the new Ombudsman to be "dedicated" and "courageous."
Speaking to reporters after attending a Labor Day breakfast meeting he hosted in Malacañang for labor leaders, Aquino said his government had become "closer to actually filing charges where appropriate,'' when asked if the Palace had been lining up cases against former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The question of prosecuting Arroyo arose after Gutierrez, whom the President earlier pinned as an obstacle in pursuing charges against the former president and her allies, resigned.
"Can I say it?s difficult to say that it?s directed to specific individuals at this point in time? There's still a process that has to be followed but we will make the appropriate announcements on the cases that are ready for filing the soonest possible time,'' Aquino said.
He said the focus now is finding an Ombudsman who he indicated should be a complete opposite of Gutierrez.
"So what are the criteria we are looking for? Of course, someone who is dedicated, has convictions, has courage, knows how to push these cases,'' the President said.
The President underscored the importance of a good prosecutor "in the search for justice.''
Gutierrez was about to face a Senate impeachment trial on May 9 when she resigned. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Gutierrez, 212 to 46, on charges of betrayal of public trust, for sitting too long on corruption cases against the close allies of former president Arroyo.