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SC Justice Martires joins Ombudsman fray

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Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires has joined the race for the next Ombudsman in view of Conchita Carpio-Morales’ retirement this coming July.

Martires, a graduate of San Beda College of Law, was a former Judge in Agoo, La Union prior to his appointment to the Sandiganbayan on October 15, 2005 by then President Gloria Arroyo.

Martires led the SC Justices in pushing for the indefinite leave of absence of ousted chief justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. When he was still in the Sandiganbayan, he cleared then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte from graft charges.

He was the first appointee of Duterte to the SC and is scheduled to retire in January of next year.

Once appointed to the Ombudsman post, Martires will have to go on optional retirement in the high court.

Martires will be the lone SC Justice applying for the anti graft body position.

As of press time, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) already received applications from Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and veteran lawyer Edna Batacan.

Also vying for the post is Criminal law expert Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval.

Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz, also applied for the post. He is currently the Chairman of the First Division and handling the Plunder charges against former Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.

Another set of applicants for the post are San Beda College graduate and Duterte classmates Atty. Rex Rico and Atty. Felito Ramirez.

Two Judges from Davao City applied for the post in the person of Judge Rowena Apao-Adlawan and Judge Carlos Espero RTC Davao City along with Atty. Rey Ifurung.

SC Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. was recommended to the post , but did not issue any conforme for the Ombudsman nomination while Ilocos Rep. Rodolfo Farinas manifested his intention to the post, but has yet to complete all the documents required by the council.

See related stories:

SC Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro turns down Ombudsman nomination
SC Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. seen as ‘dark-horse’ in Ombudsman race

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