Ombudsman Morales: I’ll remain undaunted in fight vs corruption
MANILA — Hours after she was announced as one of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay laureates, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said she was “deeply honored” by the recognition and vowed to remain undaunted in her commitment to run after the corrupt.
“In choosing me as an awardee, the Foundation is also honoring the men and women of the Office of the Ombudsman who have faithfully toiled and persevered with me in our shared commitment to excise the cancer of corruption that has afflicted our country for decades,” she said in a statement.
Morales, a former Supreme Court justice who was plucked from retirement by former President Benigno Aquino III to become the country’s top graft-buster in 2011, acknowledged that her mission was far from over.
“As family and colleagues celebrate with me this recognition, I am fully aware that this fight remains a challenging one. Every day, we continue to deal with inadequacies in the justice system and vestiges of entitlement among powerful individuals,” she said.
She said the bestowment of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, widely considered as Asia’s version of the Nobel Peace Prize, affirmed her resolve, and inspired and encouraged her to carry on the work.
Morales swore to “remain focused, undaunted by those who persist in not only plundering public funds but, more seriously, destroying our moral fabric as a people.”
“My faith in the Filipino people remains unshakeable as we continue to aspire and work for a just and fair justice system,” she said.
Known as a no-nonsense prosecutor with a sharp tongue and a fearless personality, Morales has indicted several prominent personalities, among them former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, who were linked to the pork barrel scam.
Most recently, her office also charged former Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son on graft and malversation charges in connection with alleged irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building.
The Magsaysay Award for Morales may also serve as a morale booster as it came just days after the plunder case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was dismissed by the Supreme Court due to insufficiency of evidence. The high court, acting on the demurrer to evidence filed by Arroyo, ruled that the evidence presented by the Ombudsman was insufficient to convict her of plunder. Arroyo was charged for approving the release of funds from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for intelligence operations of the government. Morales has insisted that her body of evidence against Arroyo was enough and comprehensive. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.