Hontiveros to Merci: Do a “Jalandoni”

“A leader is a good follower.”

This was the message conveyed today by Akbayan spokesperson Risa Hontiveros to Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez as the former partylist lawmaker renewed her call for the ombudsman to step down from her post similar to the resignation made by Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Mark Jalandoni.

“Merci should just follow Jalandoni’s example. As the old adage goes, ‘a good leader is a good follower.’ There is no reason for her to cling to a position that the public no longer trust her to occupy. If her deputy could do it, so can Merci,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros who is also the principal complainant to the first impeachment complaint filed against Gutierrez said a simple resignation on the part of Gutierrez would make things easier for the government and the people. “Merci can avoid the agonizing process of the impeachment trial by just resigning from her post. It would save a lot of taxpayer’s money and would speed up the process of introducing reforms in the ombudsman.”

Akbayan also echoed the same demand to Deputy Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (MOLEO) Emilio Gonzalez III.

“Gonzales should stop emulating his boss. Instead of acting like a Merci copycat, we urge him to just follow the lead set by his fellow deputy ombudsman and stop fighting the inevitable. Whether they like it or not, positive change will happen at the Office of the Ombudsman,” Hontiveros added.

Hontiveros said Gutierrez has until the holy week to reflect on this issue. “I hope Merci will make good use of the long vacation to weigh her options. In the event that she persists with her stubborn refusal to step down from her position, we guarantee that she will be convicted by the impeachment trial.”

Hontiveros also asked the public to come forward if they got evidence against other erring public officials.

“Jalandoni resigned not because he was imbibed with good virtues. Rather, he stepped down because he felt the heat and pressure from a public that is sick and tired of corruption. This must be replicated. The public must claim the campaign against corruption. We must send a strong signal to the corrupt that their days are numbered,” Hontiveros concluded.

It was reported that Jalandoni is a son of the chief of staff of Fifth District Negros Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, brother of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo. It was alleged that Jalandoni was a close confidante of Gutierrez handling cases involving powerful people connected to the Arroyo family