Guess: Will ex-Ombudsman Morales run for public office?

FIGHTING CORRUPTION. Former ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales delivers her speech at the Disinformation and Democratic Decay Forum at the University of the Philippines Bonifacio Global City campus on April 22, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

FIGHTING CORRUPTION. Former ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales delivers her speech at the Disinformation and Democratic Decay Forum at the University of the Philippines Bonifacio Global City campus on April 22, 2019.

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Many Filipinos long to see this feisty lady in public office because of her anti-corruption crusade. But for former ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, it's the same thing that can block her from Philippine politics.

Rappler managing editor Glenda Gloria asked Morales at the Disinformation and Democratic Decay forum on Monday, April 22, "Will you at all be lured to running for public office in the future?"

Morales said at least two groups, in fact, had asked her to join politics. 

She pointed out, first, that "the law prohibits an outgoing ombudsman to run for public office in the elections following his or her retirement." 

"Secondly, I said I'm not cut out for politics. And do you think I will succeed given the number of people I have indicted, given the number of high government officials and big fish that I have put to jail? You're kidding," Morales said, eliciting laughter from the audience.

Morales had retired in July 2018, saying she does not "intend to run for any position."

A Ramon Magsaysay awardee, she is now part of moves to fight corruption and promote democracy. She most recently filed a complaint against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court for "crimes against humanity" in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

In the forum on Monday, blogger Jane Uymatiao asked Morales a follow-up question: Given her anti-corruption advocacy, will she now be on social media "where a lot of the people are?"

"Social media is sometimes unkind to me," Morales said. "Sasabihin nila matanda ka na, amoy lupa ka na, huwag ka nang sumali diyan (They'd say you're too old, you're nearing death, don't join it anymore)."

"So I'd rather be out of sight but my voice will still reverberate in the corridors of power," she declared. – Rappler.com

 

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com

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