Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez denies rumored secret deal with P-Noy

( Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez has denied rumors that she made a secret deal with President Noynoy Aquino after she submitted her resignation effective May 6 last week, reports ABS-CBN News.

On ANC’s Headstart, she said, "It’s too much. No deal. I am thankful to the President for accommodating me and allowing me the opportunity to tender my resignation. Kasi naman appointing authority ng Ombudsman ang President. (The President has the authority to appoint the Ombudsman.) No bad feelings. We are professional."

Asked if Aquino asked her to be a state witness in a possible plunder trial against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, she told Headstart’s Karen Davila, "Wala naman gano’ng usapan, Karen. I don’t think that is a question that should be asked of me. I have nothing to with whatever perceived anomalies that were done in the past so I don’t think that should be a question."

Gutierrez said the tipping point that caused her to resign was when her mother, who is undergoing dialysis, saw politicians criticizing her in TV reports. The Ombudsman said her mother later told her and their helpers, "Bakit naman inaapi nila ang aking anak? (Why are they ganging up on my daughter?)"

In the Headstart interview, she also denied purposely submitting her resignation letter on the day of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in the UK.

Meanwhile, Malacañang has kept mum on the possible choices for Gutierrez’ replacement, reports ABS-CBN News. The names that have surfaced include Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno, human rights lawyer Jose Manuel "Chel" Diokno, former Senator Wigberto "Bobby" Tañada and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rene Villa.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told ANC’s Strictly Politics, "I don’t know where you got them but they are good names. Seriously we have not sat down and discussed the choices yet. It was really all so sudden. We’re looking at a protracted impeachment trial actually."

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News.

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