Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday said defeated presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr. would be the best bet to replace Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who resigned last week.
"I will very strongly recommend Teodoro. His integrity is beyond question and his allegiance to the rule of law has been proved to me many times by his comments on certain legal issues. He would make the best candidate," Santiago told reporters in an interview.
She said Teodoro's ties with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is a known political nemesis of President Benigno Aquino III, should not disqualify him from the Ombudsman race. Teodoro served as Defense secretary during the Arroyo administration.
"I was a professor when he was a student and I have always marked him out for great things," Santiago said of Teodoro.
Santiago said she made the recommendation as factions in the Palace feud over who will be Gutierrez's replacement.
Santiago said she knows of at least two groups, each affiliated with a potential presidential candidate in 2016, that are pushing for their own bets for the position. She
refused to identify the two groups and its members, but hinted that Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio Morales is one of the candidates being backed by one of the groups.
"That's for me to know and (for) you to find out," she told reporters, adding that the matter is "public knowledge."
It has been repeatedly rumored that there are factions in the Palace separately supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay and defeated vice presidential bet Mar Roxas, who are being seen as possible contenders in the 2016 presidential race.
"I perceive that there is an ongoing power struggle among the various squabbling groups within the Aquino administration. Some of these political groupings think that if they control the Ombudsman, they will control the presidential elections in 2016," Santiago said.
She explained that all the next Ombudsman has to do is file anti-graft cases against the rivals of a group's bet, which she said would "handicap" the competition.
With Gutierrez’s resignation, the Judicial and Bar Council is now tasked to screen and recommend her replacement, who will be appointed by the President for a fresh seven-year term.
Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro will serve as acting Ombudsman until Gutierrez’s replacement is appointed. - KBK, GMA News
Reposted From GMA News