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Calida eyed as the next Ombudsman

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Solicitor General Jose Calida may be appointed as the next Ombudsman, Politiko has learned.

A source said President Rodrigo Duterte has his mind set on Calida even if incumbent Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales still has 16 months left in her fixed, seven-year term.

Barring her impeachment or voluntary retirement, Morales will step down from her post in July 2018.

The promise of becoming the next Ombudsman may be a reason why Calida is even more driven to do his job as the government’s lawyer.

After an impeachment complaint was filed against Duterte by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano Thursday (March 16), Calida said his office was “ready and raring to crush their puerile and futile attempts to destabilize the country,” referring to the lawmaker and his ally, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“There are no valid grounds under our Constitution and laws to impeach President Duterte. As I previously stated, impeachment won’t fly,” Calida said.

In a controversial move, the Solicitor General has moved to acquit alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in the illegal detention case against her by whistleblower Benhur Luy.

He also backed the Department of Justice in its decision to file drug-related charges against vocal administration critic, Senator Leila de Lima.