President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday slammed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales after she criticized the former Davao City mayor for encouraging the public to kill people in the course of his campaign against illegal drugs.
During his speech before the newly presidential appointees and officials in Malacañang Palace, Duterte asked since when did Ombudsman Morales anointed herself as the new spokesperson for the criminals.
“Since when did you anoint yourself spokesman of the criminals? Rendahan mo bunganga mo kasi may problema,” Duterte said.
Duterte also said that he’s going to resign as President if the Ombudsman proved that threatening criminals is against the law.
“Ombudsman, find me a law which says I cannot threaten criminals with death. Find me a law which would bar me from saying ‘I will destroy you if you destroy my country.’ If you can do that I will step down tomorrow,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang.
Duterte also pointed out that the Ombudsman also faced corruption issues.
“Bakit ‘yang Ombudsman, hindi corrupt? Tanong mo mga may kaso diyan,” he said.
The President also recounted how he witnessed the corruption in the Office of the Ombudsman when he was a Davao City prosecutor.
He said that only low-level government workers were charged for corruption while their higher ups were not being held liable for their crimes.
Duterte was reacting to Morales’ interview with Japanese public network NHK, where she criticized Duterte for “goading people to kill people.”
“That’s a problem. His communications people say ‘that’s hyperbole.’ You know, they try to rationalize whatever he says, so whether or not the police or whoever he addresses these words, believe him. That’s a different story. The directive to kill people under any situation irrespective of the context, to me, that’s not acceptable,” Morales had said.
The President said that he’s trying his best not to criticize the Ombudsman, because they were related to by affinity.
The Ombudsman, whose nephew Mans Carpio is married to Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte.
“Nagpipigil ako, kasi your brother is my balae… Hindi mo lang alam ang problema ko,” Duterte said
An hour after the tirades of President Duterte against Morales, the Office of the Ombudsman released an official statement.
According to the statement, Ombudsman Morales said that she stood by her answer to NHK’s question. But Morales clarified that she did not say anything about the law against threatening criminals.
The President must review interview of NHK to Morales first according to the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Ombudsman Morales is amused by so much ado about something she did NOT say. However she stands by her answer to NHK’s question which she says is correct. Her answer was “goading people to kill irrespective of the context is, to me, unacceptable.” She did not say anything about any law against threatening criminals. The President should review what she said first. Beyond this the Ombudsman does not find it necessary to say anything more” The office of the Ombudsman said in a statement.