The Liberal Party (LP) on Wednesday joined the clamor for the disqualification of lawyer Edna Herrera-Batacan from the selection process for the next Ombudsman, suggesting that the former counsel of President Rodrigo Duterte, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles “cannot be trusted.”
“As the office entrusted by the people to … prosecute government officials accused of wrongdoings, especially graft and corruption, the Ombudsman post must be a paragon of probity, honesty and ethical conduct,” the LP said in a statement.
“Batacan does not fit the description,” the party said.
The LP said that during Batacan’s interview with the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), the body that will recommend the next Ombudsman to President Duterte, she admitted to being “a party to a payoff.”
She was also accused of “keeping an amount supposed to have been used as bribe money.”
“What we have on record, instead of known probity as required by the Constitution, is an admission of criminal liability,” the party said.
Malacañang had said that Batacan was a top candidate to replace the retiring Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.
Batacan also told the JBC that she witnessed rampant corruption in the antigraft body.
Asked by the JBC what steps she took “to do something” about the supposed corruption, she said: “I really got angry. But as a practitioner, you have to abide by the rules and please your client. As they say, you have to [dance] to their music so that you can serve your client.”
The LP said: “The consequences to good governance and to the people are dire if we will have an Ombudsman who cannot be trusted.”
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