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Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

Malacañang Palace: PNoy has no regrets appointing Ombudsman Morales

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

MALACAÑANG, Philippines – Malacañang on Wednesday said President Benigno S. Aquino III is not sorry for appointing Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the President appointed Carpio-Morales because “he wanted an independent individual to head that office”.
“When the President appointed Ombudsman Carpio-Morales, he stated very categorically that he wanted an independent individual to head that office. And does the President regret? The President has mentioned Ombudsman Carpio-Morales, I think, thrice in the six times that he delivered the SONA (State of the Nation Address)—2011, 2012, and I believe (in) the last SONA, he also mentioned Ombudsman Carpio-Morales. He wants someone who will look after integrity. The President expects integrity in all branches of government. And so, no, the President does not regret appointing Ombudsman Carpio-Morales,” explained the Palace official during the daily press briefing.
Ombudsman Carpio-Morales on Tuesday said during a budget hearing at the House of Representatives that President Aquino is among the subjects of the initial investigations being conducted by the Office of Ombudsman regarding the government’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
When asked if President Aquino is ready to face charges after his term ends, Lacierda replied: “In the universe of possibilities, if anybody wants to question the President subsequent to his term, there will always be people who will attempt to do so.”
“The President has mentioned already that we have disturbed a number of rice bowls. Will there be people unhappy with the government? Will there be people unhappy with the President? In the universe of possibilities, yes, there are people who will be unhappy with how we went through ‘Daang Matuwid’,” he further said.
Lacierda also said the administration has nothing to do with the Ombudsman probe.
“The power of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman Act is that the Ombudsman can motu propio investigate. She mentioned yesterday (Tuesday) it was done. She ordered the investigation motu propio. So, we were not even aware until she mentioned it yesterday,” said Lacierda.
“There is no unseen hand. This is the independence of Chit Carpio-Morales working as the Office of the Ombudsman was meant to be. To be an independent office and to be able to investigate without fear or favor,” the Palace official said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.