Press Release
November 2, 2008


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas said today Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez must fix her act to arrest further erosion of public confidence in the government as her failure to act on corruption cases involving officials and allies of the Arroyo Administration has weakened the country's democracy itself.

"Kung hindi kikilos si Ombudsman Gutierrez sa mga kasong inuupuan ng kanyang opisina, talagang lalakas ang panawagan na palitan na ang gobyernong ito (If Ombudsman Gutierrez will not act on the graft cases pending in her office, the call for the ouster of this government will get stronger)," he said.

The Ilonggo senator said a leadership change such as those advocated by groups frustrated by Gutierrez' inaction on the graft cases, like those of former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante, will lead to catastrophic political consequences.

"Ombudsman Gutierrez has lost the mantle of judicious impartiality and is perceived as a willing tool of Malacañang to prevent its allies from being brought to justice," Roxas said.

He said Gutierrez failed in her constitutional duty to "protect the people" as she repeatedly ignored calls for quick action on sensational cases involving graft and corruption in the Arroyo Administration.

"Imbes na maging kakampi ng taumbayan sa paglilinis ng pamahalaan, naging instrumento pa ng mga nangungurakot sa gobyerno ang ating Ombudsman sa mata ng taumbayan (Instead of being the people's ally in cleaning the government, the Ombudsman has become a tool of the corrupt in this administration as far as the public can see)," said Roxas.

Roxas noted that the Philippine government in July 2006 had received a $21-million grant from the Millennium Challenge Corp. to help fight corruption. However, two years after the grant, the Philippines failed the "control of corruption" indicator set by the Millennium Challenge Corp. for the first time.

"Mahigit isang bilyong piso ito na nagamit dapat ng gobyerno at ng Ombudsman para tugisin ang mga tiwali sa gobyerno. Nasayang lang ang perang ito (This is more than a billion pesos that the government and the Ombudsman should have used to fight corruption in the government. But this fund just went to waste)," he said.

News Latest News Feed