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Ombudsman files case vs lawyer for JBC remarks

Ombudsman Samuel Martires has filed charges of violation of Section 36 of the Ombudsman Act and corruption of public officials against lawyer Edna Batacan before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.

Batacan earned the ire of Martires when she accused the Office of the Ombudsman of accepting a “parking fee” in exchange for the delayed action of a pending case during the administration of then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

In his complaint-affidavit, Martires said he summoned Batacan to appear before him, shed light into the issue and identify any Ombudsman personnel behind the alleged extortion activity, to no avail.

“Under Art. 212 of the Revised Penal Code, Attorney Batacan should be held liable even if the money was demanded by the officials of the Office of the Ombudsman and Attorney Batacan’s offer was not made voluntarily prior to the demand by the officials,” the complaint read.

Batacan, however, wrote Martires, telling him such remarks were part of a Judicial and Bar Council interview last June 20 when she was then applying for the Ombudsman position, and that the Ombudsman did not have any jurisdiction over her.

She maintained she would stand by her claim of corruption within the Ombudsman.

“The deliberate refusal of Attorney Batacan to cooperate with, and provide sufficient details to this Office impedes the proper exercise of its function to investigate the corruption committed by the officials and employees of the Office of the Ombudsman as she revealed during her JBC interview,” he said.

During the JBC interview, Batacan, a former lawyer of President Rodrigo Duterte when he was then the Davao City mayor, tagged the Office of the Ombudsman as “graft-ridden” office, and that she was asked to give P50,000 thrice to delay the progress of a case.

Martires, a former Supreme Court associate justice; Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz; Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval; Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III; Batacan; lawyers Rex Rico, Rey Ifurung, Felito Ramirez and Rainier Madrid, and Judge Carlos Espero II vied for the Ombudsman position to replace Carpio-Morales, who retired on July 26. 

Topics: Samuel Martires , Supreme Court , Edna Batacan , Conchita Carpio-Morales , Revised Penal Code
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