New Ombudsman must meet Aquino’s criteria
MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III will choose the next Ombudsman based on the qualities he had earlier spelled out and from the shortlist of the nominees given to him by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Thursday.
Valte made the statement as she shrugged off concerns raised by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago that two factions in the Palace were pitching their own candidate for the office to be vacated officially on Saturday by outgoing Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.
“While you expect a certain amount of recommendations, of course, everybody has their own idea on whom they want to be the next Ombudsman but again that process will have to be jumpstarted by the JBC,” she told reporters.
Still, she said it was “premature” at this point to raise such concern because the JBC still has to submit its shortlist of nominees to President Aquino.
Told that Santiago was recommending presidential cousin and defeated presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro as the next Ombudsman, Valte only noted that there were many people being recommended.
She reiterated that President Aquino had already said what qualities he wanted to see in the next Ombudsman –independence, competence and integrity—and all this will be considered once he has a shortlist from the JBC.
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