President Rodrigo Duterte’s fellow former prosecutor in Davao City has been designated as new head of the Land Registration Authority in Quezon City.
In an appointment paper signed last May 10, the President appointed Renato Bermejo as administrator of LRA.
LRA is an attached agency of the Department of Justice responsible for issuing decrees of registration and certificates of title and register documents, patents and other land transactions for the benefit of landowners, agrarian reform-beneficiaries and the general public.
Bermejo replaces LRA chief Eulalio Diaz III.
Meanwhile, 10 candidates are vying for the position of special prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman, an agency constitutionally mandated to run after erring government officials and employees.
In an advisory, the Judicial and Bar Council revealed that among the applicants include former Sandiganbayan presiding justice Edilberto Sandoval, Makati City Regional Trial Court Judge Benjamin Pozon, Acting Ombudsman Special Prosecutor Omar Sagadal, former Commission on Elections law department head Ferdinand Rafanan, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines law professor Arnold Bayobay.
Former Ombudsman Mindanao lawyer Eusebio Avila, former Ombudsman Prosecution Bureau director Diosdado Calonge, and lawyers Francisco Alan Molina, Raymundo Julio Olaguer, and Vernand Quijano are also on the list of potential successors to Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit who retired last March 11.
The JBC said the nominees will undergo a public interview on May 24 at the Supreme Court.
“The public may submit to the JBC a sworn complaint, report, or opposition against any of the aforesaid candidates,” the JBC said, in an announcement.
Under the Ombudsman Act of 1989, the Special Prosecutor has a fixed term of seven years.
The Special Prosecutor is empowered to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and enter into a plea bargaining agreement, an arrangement that nearly cost Sulit’s career at the Ombudsman.
In late 2012, Sulit was sacked by the Office of the President for brokering the deal at the Sandiganbayan that allowed retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, an accused plunderer, to plead guilty on lesser offenses of money laundering and direct bribery in exchange for returning P135 million out of his P303-million ill-gotten wealth.
She challenged her dismissal before the Court of Appeals, which ordered her reinstatement last year.
The CA said the plea bargain was legal because it was executed under the direct supervision of then-Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who was the rightful person to enter into the agreement as representative of the people.