Duterte slams Ombudsman for sitting on ‘pork’ cases

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday slammed the Office of the Ombudsman anew for running only after some of the lawmakers implicated in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, saying it has “mastered the art of selective justice.”

In his remarks during the oath-taking of new government appointees in Malacañang, Duterte criticized how Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales had handled the corruption cases against lawmakers in connection with the alleged misuse of pork barrel, or the defunct Priority Development Assistance Fund.

“It seems that the Office of the Ombudsman has mastered the art of selective justice. Harsh on some, soft on others even when they all suffer from similar or analogous circumstances. Slow to act on complaints against the ‘friendly’ but quick to decide against perceived ‘hostiles,’” he said.

Palace officials and allies have accused Carpio-Morales of running only after political opponents of former president Benigno Aquino 3rd.

Aquino appointed Carpio-Morales, a former Supreme Court magistrate, to the post in 2011.

Duterte questioned why only ex-senator Juan Ponce-Enrile was allowed to post bail, and not former senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.

“Why can’t they just wind up the cases against the senators…you know it’s sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander,” he said.

“If you allow a certain person to post a bail, there is absolutely no ground, legal or otherwise, why don’t you do it for others?” he added.

In 2015, the Supreme Court granted Enrile’s petition to post bail, citing his age and his health. The former senator was 91 at the time and was under hospital arrest.

Duterte also said the Ombudsman’s decision to file graft charges against Sen. Gregorio Honasan 2nd, also in connection with the pork barrel scam, was yet another indication of Morales’ selective justice.

“The latest is Gringo Honasan. We don’t have a connection but I pity him because the case isn’t clear,” said Duterte, who met Honasan in Malacañang on August 16.

“Everyone calls for ‘due process’ and the [dispensation]of justice without fear or favor. But sad to say, recent events show that no less than the Office of the Ombudsman, which is supposedly the embodiment of everything that is just, fair and reasonable, has not exactly lived up to its constitutional mandate,” Duterte said.

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