Letter to Merci

This is a letter I wrote to Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez four years ago which she apparently just disregarded and allowed inaction to leave cases gathering dust in her office:

                                                                                   August 28, 2006


Ombudsman (Tanodbayan)

Office of the Ombudsman

Diliman, Quezon City

Dear Tanodbayan Gutierrez:

I was browsing the Internet during the weekend, and I came across an interesting article entitled, “Ombudsman Cases ‘Just Lie There and Die There’”. It was written in 1998 long before you appointment to this Honorable Office. But I was prompted to call your attention to this article, a reprint of which is hereto attached, as a way of reminding you there are many important cases that may just suffer that fate.

One such case is entitled “MANUEL P. MEJORADA, Complainant, versus RAUL M. GONZALEZ, Respondent,” docketed as OMB-C-A-05-0635-K for Grave Misconduct and Oppression. The case was filed almost a year ago, and the Position Papers for both complainant and respondent were filed in March 2006. Nothing has been heard about the case, and I am afraid it will just gather dust in some drawer cabinet in the Office of the Ombudsman.

I can understand the Ombudsman is placed in a rather awkward position in having to rule against the Justice Secretary. But I think the facts and evidence as presented can only bring you to one conclusion: That the Justice Secretary is guilty as charged. Otherwise, the investigating officer would have dismissed this long ago if the evidence didn’t support the allegations.

I was one of those who cheered your appointment as Ombudsman in the belief that you bring sincerity and commitment to purpose to the job. This is an acid test for the Ombudsman to show it is a truly independent body that will carry out its mandate no matter who gets hurt. Otherwise, abusive government officials will merely thumb their noses and sneer at the Ombudsman for its inability to discipline them. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I want to call a spade and spade.

I sincerely hope that I will not end up a frustrated citizen wasting my efforts to fight corruption and abuse in government. I know that if there is any single person who can make an impact in the fight against corruption, it will be you. And I wouldn’t have to sing the line from Nat King Cole, “They just lie there, and they just die there” whenever I think of the Ombudsman.

                                                                                    Very truly yours,

                                                                                    MANUEL P. MEJORADA

                                                                                    Provincial Administrator

Encls.: PCIJ reprint “Ombudsman Cases ‘Just Lie There and Die There’”

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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