LILIA DE LIMA
MANILA, May 11 – Despite her earlier pronouncements that she’s not interested to replace resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, an official of the Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally nominated DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima to the position of the Ombudsman to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
Gutierrez resigned on April 29, 2011 and it took effect on May 6, 2011.
Secretary De Lima would be the best person to be the next Ombudsman as she has displayed an “incorruptible stand, integrity beyond reproach and character par excellance in public service,” DOJ Assistant State Prosecutor Romeo Senson said in his one-page letter to the JBC.
Senson also cited that prior to her appointment as DOJ Secretary, De Limaâ€™s stint as Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) was exceptionally commendable.
“Even if her appointment (as Ombudsman) will surely be a loss to the Justice Department, the same is more for the betterment of the Filipino in general,â€ Senson stressed.
The JBC has set on May 16, 2011 as the deadline for the submission of applications for the vacated position of Ombudsman, afterwhich, the selection process will commence.
The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent constitutional body, whose officials are appointed by the President from a shortlist of nominees submitted by the JBC.
Currently, there are three nominees to the vacated Ombudsman post namely, former Senator Wigberto â€œBobbyâ€ Tanada, Atty. Ernesto Francisco and De Lima. (PNA)