THE COUNTRY’S next Ombudsman may be from UST.

After the Philippines’ first female Ombudsman, Merceditas Gutierrez, resigned last May 6, two Faculty of Civil Law professors were nominated to take over the position.

Along with 25 other nominees, Judge Philip Aguinaldo and lawyer Marlon Manuel are set for a public interview before the Judicial and Bar Council.

“I would say [my nomination is] more of a recognition of a job that is considered ‘passable’ to the standards of Judicial and Bar Council,” Aguinaldo told the Varsitarian.

Aguinaldo obtained his Political Science degree from the Faculty of Arts and Letters in 1979 and graduated cum laude in the Faculty of Civil Law in 1983. He is currently the presiding judge of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court-Branch 207.

Aguinaldo has also been a lecturer at the University of the Philippines Law Center, Lyceum of the Philippines University School of Law, and Philippine Judicial Academy, where he teaches Criminal Law, Persons and Family Relations, and Partnership, Agency, and Trust.

Aguinaldo said he would ensure that the watchdog function would work for “good governance” if ever he gets appointed as Ombudsman.

“If people in the government will be monitored, probably they would do their jobs as public officials,” he said. “And if they would perform their duties in accordance of law, corruption in the government would probably be diminished.”

He also emphasized the importance of moral values as one of the qualities of an ombudsman.

“We have many intellectual officials who lack values,” Aguinaldo said. “What we need is someone who is guided by moral and ethical values, and that is the most basic qualification.”

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Meanwhile, Manuel, who teaches Labor Law, Political Law and Constitutional Law in UST, finished Legal Management and law at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1990 and 1994, respectively. Manuel is the national coordinator of the Alternative Law Groups, a coalition of 20 non-government organizations that adhere to the principles and values of alternative or developmental law.

He is also the former executive director of the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal, a non-government group engaged in developmental legal work.

According to Manuel, instituting a package of reforms in the office to restore its credibility will be his primary focus if he is appointed to the post.

“We can only restore the credibility of the office by producing concrete results, and we cannot afford to delay any longer,” he said.

According to him, building a “reform constituency” is needed to carry out any reform program.

“We have to strengthen the office and [its] purposes and build partnerships with non-governmental organizations doing anti-corruption work,” he said.

Manuel has been teaching at the Ateneo School of Law since 1996. He only joined the Faculty of Civil Law last year.

Aguinaldo and Manuel are scheduled to be interviewed on June 22 and June 27, respectively.

1 COMMENT

  1. The 414,000 members of the Noble Blue Falcons International(Environmentalists, Peace Crusaders) support the nomination and eventual appointment of Judge Aguinaldo as the next Ombudsman. A respected member of the Academe and Judiciary, he is a man of competence, integrity and experience.

    We hope he will be the next Ombudsman.

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