PNoy names new deputy ombudsman for military

Posted at 05/23/14 4:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has appointed a new deputy ombudsman for the military and other law enforcement offices.

Sixty-year-old Cyril Ramos, who served in the Office of the Ombudsman from 1988 to 2007, replaced Emilio Gonzales III, whom the President dismissed in 2011 after the botched Rizal Park hostage rescue in August 2010.

He will enjoy a fixed term of seven years or until 2021.

Ramos served in various capacities at the anti-graft court, among them former director and assistant ombudsman of the finance and administrative office.

He crafted the agency’s organizational reform agenda and anti-corruption initiatives, including sourcing of technical and grant assistance from foreign development partners while serving as concurrent project director of the Project Management Office.

Ramos also played a critical role in the fight against corruption during the time of former ombudsman Simeon Marcelo by securing funds for the latter’s plans and anti-corruption programs.

Gonzales retired from government service last February. Director Rudiger Falcis II held his position in an acting capacity.

He was accused by slain hostage taker Rolando Mendoza – a dismissed police officer – of extortion in exchange for his reinstatement in the police force, a charge the former deputy ombudsman vehemently denied.

He was later found guilty of gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct constituting betrayal of public trust for his handling of Mendoza’s cases.

The Supreme Court (SC) ordered Gonzales’ reinstatement in September 2012, saying the findings of Malacañang “fall short of the constitutional standard of betrayal of public trust.” But Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales issued a status quo ante order barring Gonzales from immediately reassuming his post. The court, she said, has yet to act on a pending motion for clarification filed by the Office of the Solicitor General.

Early this year, the SC ruled that the Office of the President will no longer have jurisdiction over deputies of the ombudsman, saying the President’s disciplinary powers or his administrative authority over them is unconstitutional. The justices held that only the special prosecutor, or the prosecuting arm of the Office of the Ombudsman, is covered by Malacañang’s disciplinary powers.