‘The Firm’ allies reappointed to OMB

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ALLIES of “The Firm,” once the most powerful law office in the Philippines, again hold top posts and key positions at the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB).

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd has appointed former Assistant Ombudsman Cyril Ramos as the new Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforce–ment Offices, a post vacated by Emilio Gonzales 3rd, the con–troversial official who was earlier dismissed from service by the Palace over the bloody hostage-taking incident in Luneta Park on August 23, 2010.

On the strength of a one page transmittal letter sent by Palace Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno, dated May 22, 2014, Ramos was appointed to the said post.

Allies of “The Firm”—the former Carpio Villaraza Cruz Marcelo law office—held key positions at the Office of the Ombudsman during the tenure of former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo, one of the founders of the “The Firm.”

Now, the same officials are back in top posts at the OMB in the term of Ombudsman Con–chita Carpio Moralles, cousin of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

Ramos was a former assistant ombudsman for administrative in Marcelo’s time; Gerard Mosquera a former director during Marcelo term, is now the Deputy Ombudsman for Lu–zon; and Melchor Arthur Carandang who was an assis–tant ombudsman during the tenure of Marcelo is now the Overall Deputy Ombudsman, the second highest ranking official after Morales.

Carandang was once charged with robbery-extortion but the case was eventually dis–missed by the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.

The post of Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao was notched by Rodolfo Elman, a native of Davao and an ally of Court of Appeals Justice Agnes Reyes Carpio, the sister-in-law of Morales.

Vacancies would be left after the retirement of Deputy Om–budsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol on July 19, 2014 and the dismissal from the service of Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit in view of the Malacanang ruling sacking her after her participation in the plea bargaining agreement with convicted Gen. Carlos Garcia.

Marcelo and former special prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio opposed the plea bargaining deal with Garcia.

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