Martires cites good deeds for chance to work at SC
Newly appointed Ombudsman Samuel Martires on Monday said he must have done something good that God gave him the opportunity to work at the Supreme Court (SC).
Martires made his farewell speech during the SC’s flag raising ceremony before assuming his new position as Ombudsman. He is set to take the position vacated by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales whose 7-year term ended last July 26.
“I was just an ordinary lawyer fortunate to serve the judiciary. I never expected that I will be appointed as associate justice,” Martires said.
“’Di ko inaashan na darating ang araw na makakatrabaho ko mga mahistrado na magaling — (Presbitero) Velasco, (Estela Perlas) Bernabe, (Mariano) Del Castillo, (Teresita Leonardo) De Castro. ‘Di ko akalain makakasama ko si Justice (Antonio) Carpio,” he added.
[I never expected that there will come a day when I will be working with outstanding justices – (Presbitero) Velasco, (Estela Perlas) Bernabe, (Mariano) Del Castillo, (Teresita Leonardo) De Castro. I never thought I would be in the company of Justice (Antonio) Carpio.]
“Mukha yatang may nagawa akong kabutihan sa buhay ko na dinala ako ng Panginoon sa Korte Suprema,” Martires also said.
[It looked like I may have done something good in my life that God has brought me to the Supreme Court.]
Of all the aspirants to the Ombudsman post, he got the unanimous recommendation from his colleagues.
“The reason why I got 11 votes is because ayaw na nila sa akin,” Martires said, adding in jest that “I saw some employees wearing red akala kasi nila may sisispain sa SC, ako ‘yun [they probably thought someone will be kicked out of the Supreme Court, that is me].”
As he assumes his new post, Martires said his focus will be on the pending cases at the Office of the Ombudsman as well as the corruption mentioned by a former Ombudsman official, Atty. Edna Batacan.
Batacan, who also vied for the Ombudsman post revealed there is a “parking fee” for complaints filed at the anit-graft office. “Parking fee” refers to the amount to be paid to Ombudsman investigators to delay the result of its investigation.
“Yes, that is one of my priorities and when I assume office, I would make the necessary announcement on what has to be done,” Martires said.
On the inordinate delay in resolving cases, Martires said he will find ways to further expedite the resolution of cases.
Martires recognized the effort of former Ombudsman Carpio Morales who, he said, has managed to reduce the pending cases from 19,000 when she assumed office to only 6,000 given that the office receives more than 9,000 complaints every year.
“Justice Morales really worked hard to reduce the number of pending cases,” he pointed out.
Martires is supposed to retire from the SC upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 in January 2019, but opted for an early retirement following his appointment as Ombudsman. /kga