Dispatch from Crame No. 680: Statement of Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Ombudsman’s refusal to release Duterte’s SALN: From Tanodbayan to Traydorbayan


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This government only becomes more disgusting by the day. With Ombudsman Samuel Martires’s declaration that he will not release Duterte’s SALN because he has the duty to protect public officials, this government’s act of turning all principles of accountability and transparency on their head is now complete.

Perhaps former SC Justice Martires has forgotten the definition of Ombudsman and needs reminding. It is a term of Swedish origin which means “an official who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints of mal-administration.” The Ombudsman is NEVER charged with representing the interests of public officials. It ALWAYS represents the interests of the public.

With Martires’ pronouncement that this Ombudsman office has now turned its mandate 180 degrees to that of protecting and defending public officials like the President, the people are effectively deprived of their anti-corruption champion. From Tanodbayan, the Ombudsman has now become the Traydorbayan.

One can only pull out her hair in anguish at how this otherwise distinguished official has perverted and distorted the rule of law beyond recognition. If Ombudsman Martires cannot fulfill his mandate under the Constitution, he should resign his position. This administration has enough defenders as it is, for the Ombudsman himself to throw his hat in with the lot of sycophants willing to defend their master Duterte at whatever cost, even their own reputation.

Justice Martires, huwag po ninyong sayangin ang matagal mong paglilingkod sa taumbayan. Ipagdarasal ko pa rin na ikaw ay maliwanagan na hindi si Duterte ang iyong pinagkakautangan, kung hindi ang taumbayan.

Hold up Duterte to the same stringent standards that you subjected Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to in the submission and disclosure of their SALNs. Otherwise, you will not only be remembered for your double standard, but for your betrayal of the public trust. ###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 680, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleil…/…/dispatch_680_d15d798a4362b6)

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