casino made the call amid the submission of some 38 applications and nominations for the post, which include the names of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Internal revenue Commissioner Kim Jacino Henares.
Casino says appointing someone from Aquino’s own circles would show that no lessons were learned from the impeachment of former chief justice renato corona, who served as chief of staff and spokesperson of Arroyo earlier in her term.
Casino says there is a deep bench of judges and justices who are equally qualified and competent as the cabinet members.
for his part, Bayan Muna Rep Neri Colmenares emphasized the importance of having a track record of indepdence in choosing the next chief magistrate.
echoing casino’s fears of the rise of an Aquino court, Colmenares also said the criteria of independnce is important especially since there is no limit to the nominations and applications for the job.
Bayan Muna Representatives Teodoro Casino and Neri Colmenares have pressed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to rule on their complaint for plunder against fellow congressman, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in connection with the alleged misuse of some P500 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Funds.
In an urgent motion to resolve filed Tuesday Morning, the Bayan Muna lawmakers noted that it’s been almost a year since they filed their complaint and nothing has been heard of it.
“”On 12 July 2011, herein Complainants filed a sworn complaint-affidavit before this Honorable Office against Respondents former PresidentGLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO and former PCSO Manager ROSARIO URIARTE for the malversation of, inter alia, between PhP 350 Million to PhP 150 Million of the PCSO funds, including its “Public Relations Fund” and realigning the same to its supposed “intelligence funds”
Their 2011 complaint further said that Arroyo’s action during her presidency was in violation of Articles 217 (4) and 220 of the Revised Penal Code; Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended by RA 1060; and Republic Act 7080 or the Plunder Law.
The 2 note that the PCSO complaint was filed earlier than the complaint for plunder which they filed for the NBN ZTE deal, which was already filed before the SandiganBayan for a case of graft and corruption.
That complaint also requested the Ombudsman to further investigate the other anomalies in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
The same urgent motion also asked the Ombudsman to inform complainants of the status of cases filed—noting the lack of notice allowed complaints during the term of Ombudsman Merceditas Guttierez to remain in limbo.” The supposed reason for this procedure, that it insulates the investigators from the parties, does not seem to have a valid justification especially since this procedure is not employed in the investigations by other investigative bodies like those conducted by the State Prosecutors under the Department of Justice”
The Bayan Muna representatives also ask the Ombudsman that they remain as nominal complainants should the case be filed before the sandiganbayan. “Complainants may be of help in finding witnesses or evidence, and, as a general rule, make sure that the special prosecutors are conducting their task with genuine zeal and competence. “