THE Office of the Ombudsman did not only ignored the suspension handed by the Office of the President against its deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang, but it also dismissed the graft and terrorism charges against embattled Senator Leila Delima and four other officials for allegedly realising high-value Abu Sayyaf bandits.
Carandang became notable after he made it public his observations that the bank transactions he have said to acquire from Anti Money Laundering Council were similar to that of Sen. Antonio Trillanes' alleged exposé against President Rodrigo Duterte's alleged ill-gotten wealth. Meanwhile, the charges against Delima were filed by the Department of Justice, along with illegal drug cases which is still pending in courts.
The Ombudsman, especially its head Conchita Carpio-Morales, has been subjected to Duterte's swipes which prompted his loyal men to work on possibilities in exploring means in impeaching her using legal means and allegations of corruption. Similar to what they are exploring now on Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
Sereno, meanwhile, was one of the five magistrates in SC who voted that the Martial Law extension in Mindanao is unconstitutional. However, the five votes were defeated against the votes from the 10 justices that favored the extension of Martial Law and deemed it constitutional.
Both Morales and Sereno, who were appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III, have been performing their official duties in a turbulent time where their positions are being mired with allegations and controversies.
Their actions and decisions may not come without consequences, but it is quite admirable of them to be standing on their ground regardless of political pressures.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 07, 2018.