Within a month, President Duterte will be making one of his most critical appointments. Conchita Carpio Morales is retiring soon as ombudsman, the official principally tasked to go after the corrupt. The President has put the battle against corruption alongside his relentless war against illegal drugs as top priorities of his administration. His choice of the next ombudsman could mean the success or failure of his fight against graft.

Morales, who was appointed as ombudsman by Benigno Aquino III, has been criticized even by President Duterte for supposedly dispensing selective justice, particularly when it comes to wrongdoing imputed on officials of the previous administration. Thanks to her approaching retirement, Morales has narrowly escaped impeachment.

With his open criticism of Morales, President Duterte has raised expectations that his appointee as ombudsman will not face similar complaints about selective justice. To achieve this, there must be no doubt that the executive will respect the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman, which is a constitutional body.

While respecting the independence of the ombudsman, the executive can boost the capability of the office by providing additional funding for resources and personnel.

In the past months, the President has dumped several department secretaries and lower ranking Cabinet officials after receiving reports linking them to corrupt deals. A task force under his office is tasked to pursue complaints and tips about anomalies in executive offices. The ombudsman must complement the efforts of the task force by investigating and filing formal charges against those who are fired or are ordered to resign on accusations of corruption.

The nature of the job calls for a person of unquestioned competence and integrity – one who is apolitical and can be relied on to be impartial. The President should see no problem even if his appointee runs after his staunch supporters; he himself has been dropping them from his Cabinet amid reports of corruption. The momentum of his purge is best sustained with a competent and credible ombudsman. / The Philippine Star) – May 17, 2018 – 12:00am



7.1.  The Daily Tribune –  One step at a time

7.2   The Manila Bulletin – Our new agreement with Kuwait on OFWs

7.3.  The Manila Standard – On the wrong side

7.4.  The Manila Times –  BARANGAY ELECTIONS

7.5.  The Philippine Daily Inquirer – Other Boracays

7.6   The Philippine Star –The next ombudsman
7.  May aasahan pa ba sa PCGG? – Pilipino Star Ngayon- Too Risky!

8.1.  For The Straits Times – From general counsel to corporate boss?

Grace Leong
She joined the paper in 2013. In 2012, while with The Business Times, she won the Securities Investors Association of Singapore award for Financial Story of the Year. She worked in the United States from 1999 to 2010, winning numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Newspapers award of Excellence for outstanding local journalism in 2005 on the Sundance Film Festival, and Associated Press awards including one in 2009 on rising mortgage fraud as the sub-prime crisis intensified, while at the Daily Herald in Utah. She covered stock markets and commodities for Dow Jones Newswires in Hong Kong and Singapore from 1994 to 1997.

9.1.  Regime’s best-laid plans still subject to folly –
– The Bangkok Post
10.1   Keeping a balanced view on access to high places – Viet Nam News by Thu Trang
llustration by Trịnh Lập
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