Yes, ombudsman must be biased—against graft
IT IS but right that President Aquino should appoint an anti-Gloria Arroyo candidate for the Office of the Ombudsman. That is the only way we can hope that justice will finally be served. We totally disagree that the next ombudsman should be neutral or “impartial.” He/she has to be aggressively and passionately against corruption. The Filipino people have long hungered for accountability, which had been denied them in the past.
Former President Arroyo and her family have no one to blame but themselves. If true that they have nothing to hide, they should have allowed justice to take its normal course during their time. The cry for retribution and restitution would not have been this intense. Rightly or wrongly, the public impression was they were guilty as hell of the charges made against them. They could have come clean, if they had chosen to.
Instead, they snookered every attempt to get to the bottom of the grand larceny and looting of the nation’s treasury taking place under their noses. They invoked “executive privilege” to pull the rug out from under all official investigations, and then swept the truth under it. Brazening out all calls for accountability, they co-opted Congress to do their bidding to trash any impeachment attempt against GMA, and corrupted the Office of the Ombudsman to insure that all charges against them and their allies would be consigned to oblivion right off the bat. In other words, they bastardized all institutions that were originally meant to make public officials answerable for their misdeeds in office.
The often rhubarby hearings at the Senate in the past produced mountains of evidence just waiting to be used against the Arroyos. By all means, the next ombudsman should hit the ground running by filing charges against them posthaste. Enough of the stalling and shilly-shallying that former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez resorted to in gratitude for past favors she enjoyed from the Arroyos. Let the wheels of justice start turning. Let the courts pass upon the evidence and make the final pronouncement as to their guilt or innocence. That is the closure the Filipino people want to see.
—STEPHEN L. MONSANTO,
Monsanto Law Office,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City,
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.