Group stresses need for nationalist, impartial Ombudsman; sets criteria (PR)

NEWS RELEASE
May 21, 2011

Makabayan coalition backs Diokno & Tañada’s nomination to be the next Ombudsman.

QUEZON CITY — In a press conference at the Treehouse Restaurant today, the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan) announces their support to the nomination of human rights lawyer Atty. Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno and former senator Wigberto ‘Bobby’ Tañada to replace Merceditas Gutierrez as Ombudsman. The support has been announced as the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) will convene for its regular meeting on Monday and as the deadline

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The coalition, led by former Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Satur Ocampo said in today’s launch of Makabayan-Quezon City Chapter that Diokno and Tañada were their top and best choices among other nominees because they fit the set criteria of Makabayan. On the group’s criteria, they stresses that aside from the good track record, the next Ombudsman must possess untainted reputation and incorruptible principles for them to be able to perform their functions well onwards pro-people governance.

‘Being the champion of the Filipino people against corrupt practices and inefficiencies in the government, the new Ombudsman must put the interests of the nation on top of its priority before personal advantages and linkages in the bureaucracy,’ says Dr. Ed Clemente, Quezon City spokesperson of Makabayan.

Dr. Clemente added, ‘The person who will fill in the post vacated by Gutierrez must be nationalist and bias for the interest of the people. Impartiality, independence and transparency must be the main consideration of the JBC in picking the next Ombudsman.’

Atty. Chel Diokno is the eighth child of former Senator Jose Diokno and is the present chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG). He is also a human rights lawyer and had served as the Founding Dean of the College of Law in De La Salle University, worked as the Special Counsel of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and led the private prosecution team during the impeachment proceedings against former President Joseph Estrada last 2001.

On the other hand, former Senator Bobby Tañada is one of the icons of human rights and democracy in the country. He also served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights during his time. Aside from being campaigner of human rights, Tañada is also known as a peace advocate when he served as convenor of the Asian Peace Alliance and the Gathering of Peace, an alliance organized after the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Finally, Makabayan-Quezon City poses strong challenge to the new Ombudsman to have strong political will to prosecute Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her cohorts including former Ombudsman Gutierrez against the past administration’s alleged corruption cases and human rights violations. The coalition also stresses that the next Ombudsman must also be vigilant and critical to the present set of government officials under the Aquino administration.

‘In order for the JBC to come-up with indisputable result in its search for Ombudsman, PNoy must distance itself and must take his hands off the entire selection process,’ Clemente ended.

Reference:

Dr. Ed Clemente
Makabayan-Quezon City Spokesperson

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