Jul 122013
Six candidates, including former and current “insiders” as well as the former head of the Comelec’s legal department, are applying for the Overall Deputy Ombudsman post, which will be vacated after the compulsory retirement of Orlando Casimiro on August 23.

Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) member Jose Mejia said, those vying for the post include former Assistant Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang and incumbent Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon officer-in-charge Rudiger Falcis II.

Carandang was appointed Assistant Ombudsman during the tenure of former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo, while Falcis is the incumbent officer-in-charge of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military, he said.

Also seeking the post is the former chief of the Commission on Elections legal department, Ferdinand Rafanan. He is currently the poll body’s director for planning.

The rest of the applicants are Undersecretary Ronaldo Geron of the Malacañang Discipline Office, private lawyer Vernard Quijano of the Pamaran Ramos and Partners law office, and George Soriano, chairman of the Quezon City People’s Law Enforcement Board, Mejia said.

Also, the JBC said the applicants have until July 17 to submit documentary requirements, while their public interviews are set for July 31.

The JBC is constitutionally mandated to screen and vet nominees for vacant posts in the judiciary and the Offices of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman.

For a vacant post in those government bodies, the seven-member JBC is tasked to come up with a shortlist from which the President will pick an appointee.

Casimiro had been the subject of an administrative case involving the supposed delay in the resolution of a case involving alleged ghost deliveries in the Philippine Air Force worth P89 million.

The case stemmed from an April 12, 1996 recommendation from graft investigators Rainier Almazan and Falcis to file a criminal case against retired Air Force officers Lt. Gen. Leopoldo Acot and Brig. Gen. Ildefonso Dulinayan for violating Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and malversation of public funds.

In 2010, the Sandiganbayan ultimately dismissed the case against the retired Air Force officials.

In his defense, Casimiro said the delay was due to the  layers of preliminary investigation and multiple reviews conducted by the concerned authorities in the Office of the Ombudsman under different leaderships. — LBG, GMA News

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