Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ombudsman: Graduating from Mona Lisa's lair

Sometime in 1998, an investigative report by Cecille Balgos goes on to show that the Office of the Ombudsman has been singled out as "Mona Lisa's lair". According to Balgos, the cases filed before the Ombudsman inevitably take after a line in the 1950s ballad popularized by Nat 'King' Cole which goes: They just lie there, and they die there.

But that was in 1998. Now, the Office of the Ombudsman headed by Merceditas Gutierrez has been very active and always at the limelight. Last April, she even proudly announced that her office was able to
fire "23 erring public officials and suspended 33 others from government service in the past 15 months." (Sad to note, these public officials were only tiny dilis as compared with the pating swimming lavishly in the halls of Malacanang.) Her office was even able to come up with a resolution regarding the involvement of the Comelec Officials in the Mega Pacific scam and later revoked it to clear the name of the commissioners. Just like Gloria Arroyo, the alleged Philippine president, who said she will not run for president but still filed a certificate of candidacy and won after calling a Comelec official to ensure that her votes will be higher than 1 million as against her nearest contender.

Whether or not the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman is favorable to the public, or that the Office is turning a blind eye to the truth, or that it is just wiping with a hanky the blooded hands of the murderer, however, are different stories. What is clear is that the Ombudsman is now working and that it has graduated from being a Mona Lisa's lair.