‘We’re expecting the new Ombudsman to be an anti-corruption crusader, bring an aggressive mood’

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano threw his support behind newly appointed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and called on all government officials to aid the latter in carrying out the President’s marching orders to go after grafters.

Cayetano said that the President’s success or failure in the anti-corruption campaign will now depend on Ombudsman Morales. He explained that all this talk about the government’s lack of political will in prosecuting and putting people behind bars will now be up to her to affirm or disprove.

The senator also noted that Morales has a tough job to fulfill as Ombudsman and deserves the full support from the people. “I hope that she will have the funds, the power and the opportunity to resolve the cases. I hope everyone will give her the support that she needs,” he added.

He explained that the Office of the Ombudsman should now focus on strengthening the cases against corrupt officials and make sure that these will not just be dropped in the future due to the lack of evidence. “We will also see if those who should be charged will be charged,” he added.

Cayetano added that ever since the Aquino administration assumed office, the president wanted to put in a new Ombudsman that could spearhead his anti-corruption campaign. Hence, the senator expects the new ‘anti-corruption crusader’ to bring in an aggressive mood of going after those who should be accountable for the anomalous practices in the past and present administration.

“The difference should be evident – from the slow investigation of before to a more aggressive stance of resolving these corruption cases now,” he added.

Cayetano also pointed out that the government’s symbolic use of the ‘No wang wang policy’ to reiterate that ‘everyone is equal in the eyes of the law’ should also lead to institutional reforms that can ensure that the present administration corruption-free. A move, he said, will greatly aid the new Ombudsman in carrying out her duties.

“There are numerous institutional reforms that we can enact,” the senator added as he urged the government to institutionalize lifestyle checks and ask officials to voluntarily sign ‘anti-corruption waivers’ that will allow investigative bodies to open their banks accounts when corruption cases are filed against them.