Supreme Court endorses Justice Martires as next Ombudsman

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Hon. Samuel Martires

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 17) — Associate Justice Samuel Martires was unanimously recommended by his peers at the Supreme Court to replace Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who is retiring on July 26.

Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te on Tuesday said Martires received 11 votes, excluding himself and Justices Alfredo Caguioa and Estela Bernabe, who were absent during the Supreme Court en banc.

Four justices voted for special prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval, while three voted for Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

Aside from Martires, Sandoval and Bello, other aspirants include Sandiganbayan Justice Efren Dela Cruz; former lawyer of President Rodrigo Duterte, Edna Herrera-Batacan; Rey Ifurung; counsel of former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, Rainier Madrid; Felito Ramirez; and Rex Rico.

Related: JBC panel interviews Ombudsman candidates  

After the public interviews, the Judicial and Bar Council will deliberate and come up with a shortlist. President Rodrigo Duterte will choose the next Ombudsman from this shortlist.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque previously said that a judge was likely to be a "frontliner" for the post.

Related: Roque: President likely to pick jurist as next Ombudsman