Body includes 2 Cebuanas in short list of candidates

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


TWO Cebuana lawyers short-listed for the post of deputy ombudsman for the Visayas are relying on their integrity and independence to get the appointment.

Lawyer Carla Juris Narvios-Tanco, director of the Visayas Ombudsman’s public assistance and corruption prevention office, welcomed the decision of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to include her among the five short-listed candidates, whom she described as formidable.

Tanco and former trial court judge Geraldine Faith Econg, also from Cebu, reportedly got the most number of votes during the JBC voting last Monday.

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Econg, in a message to Sun.Star Cebu, said she thanks God for the opportunity. She said she trusts President Benigno Aquino III to appoint the person with proven competence, independence and integrity.

Advantage

Tanco said she holds the advantage of being part of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas in the past 21 years.

“I know the geographical situation here. I know the people, their strength and weakness and who I can rely on,” she said in an interview. “I can hit the ground running.”

Other shortlisted candidates to the post that Visayas Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol will vacate on Aug. 21, are former Ombudsman director Paul Elmer Clemente, former Presidential Commission on Good Government commissioner Vincent Gengos Jr. and Gilbert Kintanar, chief of staff of Commission on Audit Chairperson Grace Pulido Tan. Nine
originally aspired to the position.

Tanco, 52, served the Visayas Ombudsman’s evaluation and investigation bureau and the prosecution bureau. She also assisted Apostol in administrative functions.

“At this stage of my life, I can say that I can devote my time to this office. I realized that there is so much to contribute,” she said.

No backers

Before she joined the ombudsman, Tanco worked as a hearing officer at the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1989 to 1993.

She said she rose from the ranks without backers.

“I shy away from that because of the nature of the office,” she said, adding that her father, former judge Jesus Narvios, impressed upon his children the need to protect their reputation.

Besides, she said, Aquino probably has probably tasked a team to look at the backgrounds and qualifications of candidates.

She said she hopes to get the post but she is prepared to accept the President’s decision. “You always hope for the best, but you must also be ready if you don't get it.”

Under the Constitution, only a candidate with “proven probity and independence” will be appointed to the position by the President. The law also requires applicants to be at least 40 years old at the time of his or her nomination and has practiced law for at least 10 years.

Apostol earlier said he hopes his successor would be God-fearing and would continue the ombudsman’s anti-graft programs.

Apostol was appointed by then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last July 19, 2007.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 20, 2014.

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