Friday, April 29, 2011

Resignation Letter of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez

Republic of the Philippines
Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City

April 29, 2011

Good Afternoon.
This morning at 10:30 a.m. I personally went to Malacanang to meet with our
President, His Excellency Benigno Aquino III, to tender my resignation. I thank
the President for graciously accommodating me on very short notice, and for all
the kind words he said to me.
In almost four decades of devoting my life to government service, I have always
been guided by the precepts that the public and moral responsibilities of public
officials transcend all other considerations. It is in accordance with these
principles that I have strived and persevered to build and maintain an
unblemished record in public service. For me, this is the greatest and lasting
legacy that I can leave my family, my children and my children’s children.
Since September of last year, I have been subjected to impeachment proceedings
which seek my removal as the Ombudsman. I have been charged with allegedly
betraying the public trust which was vested in me when I assumed office in
December of 2005 – this because I allegedly slept and failed to act promptly on
cases of national concern.
Because of my strong belief in the falsity of the charges leveled against me, I
was firm and resolute that I shall participate in the impeachment trial before
the Senate and prove to the Filipino people that the allegations against me are
untrue, as they are groundless. I felt that I owed it to the people and the
Office of the Ombudsman to vindicate and protect the integrity and independence
of the institution. I also believed that in the Senate, I shall receive a
verdict that would come only after the presentation of credible witnesses and
evidence, unswayed by any kind of pressure, whether open or subtle, in
proceedings that are devoid of histrionics that might detract from its basic aim
to ferret out the truth and decreed by the cold neutrality of Senator-jurors.
In the past weeks, it has become evident to me that the vilification thrown at
me by my detractors will go on as it has, since September of last year. I have
withstood all these with the hope that I can assuage myself with the balm of a
clear conscience and a verdict of not guilty by the Senate.
I wanted to face my accusers whatever the personal agony it would have involved.
But the interests of my family, my Office, and more importantly the nation, must
always come before any personal considerations.
I have not shirked in the face of pressure, have never been cowed into
submission, have never been influenced other than by truth and justice. To
leave before the end of my term in December 2012 is abhorrent to me. But as a
government official, I must place first and foremost the interests of the
Nation, the interest of my Office, and as a mother and wife, my family. The
problems besetting our country demand a full-time Ombudsman and a full time
Congress, both Senate and the House of Representatives. To fight through the
months ahead for my personal vindication would, as it is, almost absorb my time
and attention.
The impeachment proceedings have consumed not only the members of the House of
Representatives and the Senate, but the Chief Executive of the land as well.
At a time when the present administration is in its infancy and beset with more
urgent problems, the last thing that the nation needs is for the House and the
Senate to be embroiled in a long drawn-out impeachment proceeding against a
single public official. The President needs an Ombudsman in whom he has complete
trust and confidence. To carry on my battle to cleanse my name before the Senate
would detract from the time which could otherwise be devoted to legislative work
which would address the needs of millions of Filipino people.
By tendering my resignation effective May 6, 2011, I hope we can now all focus
on the impelling problems of our people rather than expending so much time,
effort and resources to remove me from public office.
I will also be turning over immediately the day to day affairs to the Overall
Deputy Ombudsman, and pray that we all give him our full support.

As I leave the Office of the Ombudsman, however, it is my fervent hope that the
misconception bred that having been appointed to public office by former
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, I owed my allegiance to her and am
accountable only to her, and not to the Filipino people and the Constitution be
discarded and laid to rest. While I acknowledge with deep gratitude the
opportunity given me by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, my undivided
loyalty always was, is, and will forever remain, to the Constitution and the
Filipino people. In the words of the late Chief Justice Earl Warren of the
United States Supreme Court, judicial officers like me have no constituency,
serve no majority or minority but serve only the public interest as they see it
in accordance with their oath of office, guided only by the Constitution and
their conscience and honor.
To those who have stood with during these difficult months, to my family, my
friends, to many others who joined in supporting my cause because they believed
I was innocent, I will be eternally grateful.
And to my detractors, I bear them no rancor because I have learned to make
myself believe that we all love our country and our people no matter how our
judgments might differ.
I shall leave this Office with regret at not completing my term, but with
gratitude for the privilege of serving as Ombudsman for the past five years. I
thank my colleagues at the Office of the Ombudsman whose continuous and selfless
but unpublished efforts have made the Office of the Ombudsman what it is today.
Not many know that for many years, the Office of the Ombudsman has consistently
been voted the most trusted institution in the Philippines. That is all your
stellar achievement. I stand proud of having worked with you through these
years. And while our detractors will always find cause to criticize and charge
delay in what we do, it is because we deem it better to accord due process to
our own public officials whose lives we affect when we decide on their cases.
God bless the Philippines and our people.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I write this with a heavy heart, akin to having broken up with someone; the melancholy akin to longing, like someone has left and something has been put aside.

More than three years ago, I returned to the arms of art which I've written has been there all along -- in the periphery, patiently waiting for a side glance. It's fair enough that I devote some of my time to a patient lover, I once wrote.

But at this point, I may have to leave her again, at least for the moment.

Before enrolling I have set out that work would be a priority. And the time has come to make good that promise.

In the past couple of weeks, I have been busy. I thought I could just skip classes and just make up, submit all the requirements at the end of the term. But I overlooked paying the semester's tuition. Last Friday was the deadline and I didn't meet it. First, I didn't have enough money (hehe) and second, didn't have time.

It is as if some divine providence has decided it for me. And as always, or at least often times, during difficult times, I let fate take its course. I read once, that the best way to survive a storm is to stay in place and do nothing. Remember the adage: this too, shall pass?

So it came to pass. I will momentarily stop schooling. I only have a year and a half to go but that will have to wait.

I will focus on work for the meantime because I've said this is a priority. These are exciting times, the second wind has come. It's only when I find purpose that I find the reason.

Don't worry, art, my darling muse, my saviour, my refuge. We will meet again, and I will return.

I will save up for both us, so when I return, we will own the whole spectrum of the rainbow, we will bring the soft clouds to earth, the stars will light up our path.

And I know you will be there when that time comes.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Punta Kayo :) :)



Paseo Gallery – Megamall

4th Level Building A

SM Megamall, EDSA Mandaluyong City





April 14- April 27



April 28- May 11



May 12- May 25



Paseo Gallery-Megamall presents fifteen freshie students from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts in their exhibition entitled, “Pause: Modern, Young Artists Grapple with the Times.” The exhibit is divided into three exhibitions, first part is entitled Rewind, the second part is Forward and the last part is Play. Their canvases show a valiant share of their own contextualising, interpreting and understanding post-modernism. Their critique in the perception of pomo trancend subjects, gender, and traditions are extracted in hues  determining to explore the context that created endless debates, euphoria, jargon, hype, hysteria, absurdity, creativity ,revolution to a certain extent and new beginnings.


“Pause: Modern-Rewind”,the first group posits the question of what constitutes art; they will explore post-modernism by examining the root and conventions in art. Their canvases will not give subjects to be looked at like objects and arrived at the expected meanings, but deep surfaces with questions to pause for. “Pause: modern, Rewind” opens on April 14 , participating artists includes Dodge Carpio, Isaac Sion, Tanya Umali, Joe Tanierla and PJ Jalandoni. “Rewind”, an investigation of the movement and critique of the context is on view until April 27.


 The second group- “Pause: modern, Forward”, comprises another set of young artists: Ana Mata, Joseph Morong, Maridan Pedro, Ralph Barrientos & Jocel Yabes, it presents works that subverts traditional gender representations in the media and pop culture.The exhibit opens on April 28 and runs until May 11.


Opening on May 12 and running until May 25 is the third installment subtitled “Pause: modern, Play” which experiments with the processes of art. Participating artists are: Irene Baltazar, Dawani De Leon, Jazz Gabriel, Cara Gonzalez & Paulo Pascual.


All exhibitions will be mounted and on view at Paseo Gallery – Megamall. For enquiries please contact Paseo Gallery Offices:  4th Level , Building A, SM Megamall EDSA, Mandaluyong City , Philippines; 3rd Floor, Ayala Center Makati City,Philippines, Contact Numbers: Mobile +63917-526-8082 / +63922-887-2736 ; Landline 728-0168 & 7065514; Email :




:) :) :)

Sunday, April 05, 2009


There is, it seems, always something that you leave behind a city that you're visiting, always something you didn't do or people who should've seen but didn't have enough time to pay a visit to. 

Or you leave your a little of your former self behind, like snake skin, you peel off from you and you know you're different. 

That is why, leaving is such a bitter sweet feeling. 

I'm wrapping up work in Los Angeles and will be going to San Diego tomorrow. Done with the accounting of the budget. Done with uploading videos. Will pack up things, new books, in my suitcase, the memories in the boxes in my head. 

Met a high school classmate and it seems nothing much has changed. She's still the funny one. Makulit pa rin daw ako, she told me, too. Drank (only me hehe) at a Chinese restaurant, the best we could come up with since she came from work and everything closes at 2 am in LA (I miss Manila in this regard). She owes me a videoke song. Hopefully, we'll be able to do it before I finally go back to Manila.

San Diego awaits. It hasn't been a year since I was there and there were so many things I wished I could've done there last year. Now the secret is out among my cousins, they kid me they'd bring me to you know what. I don't know. I discovered that I was uptight. "Loosen up," "Tiffany Jones", a Filipino who I've me through Ronnie from the hotel told me. "I'm all bark, no bite," I sheepishly told him. In my mind, too, I couldn't agree more. 

T.P. thought I was melancholic and serious. It didn't sound like me. Or I didn't think it sounded like me. I thought I was outgoing and all that. I was probably that. Maybe that's why I need beer. Hehe. To loosen me up. Beer brings out the kid in me. Adult life is so much pressure. Hehehe. 

I'm leaving LA behind, for the meantime. Hopefully I can return. I will. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009


You will be forever etched in my memory however long ago been buried. Covered with layers of succeeding memories not related to you. But I would, sometimes, like a butterfly flutter my way to your tombstone where flowers lay. But you will not be unearthed. I will, am, as all other things in the world do, move forward even without me willing to. That's just how life is. The world turns and goes about its ways, regardless of the upheavals that lay before its path.

Acrylic on canvass

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Oldest High School Graduates in the Country

They could very well be the oldest high school graduates in the country. In the middle is Nanay Matilde and on the right is Tatay Nick. Nanay Matilde is 73 and she just finished high school at La Salle Adult Night High School. Tatay Nick is 80 something and he graduated from the same program several years ago at age 72. So currently Nanay is the record holder. Nanay wasn't able to go to high school when she was younger because of the war (ditto with Tatay Nick). It was only now that they could get their education again because their children are all grown up. 

Nanay will not stop from graduating in high school, she wants to go to college and enroll in a voice course! Naks. In fact, she got the Alfonso Yuchengco award which would defray the cost of her first year in college. 

When it comes to dreaming and going after your goals, both Nanay Matilde and Tatay Nick can teach us a thing or two. 

Mukha lang 50th wedding anniversary pic ito eehehehe :) 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


If you make me smile and my heart flutter, why is it that I couldn't even ask your name?

It's like peeking through a slightly open door, revealing little but wanting more.

Am I too scared? Or tired?

Many times I thought I have mustered enough courage to finally ask but once I am at the door I am, again, reduced to a fumbling fool.

"Is your name really spelled with a 'y''? I ask, a silly attempt at small talk.

"Yes," you say. Then you break into a wide open smile -- those supple lips, i wonder how it feels on mine.

I could drown in your eyes you know, whose tiny sparkles remind me of the sea glistening under the moonlight.

Something draws me to you. Something I don't know. Something irrational. Something exciting.

I wonder if you wear too much of a perfume so I could smell you.

But there would be no need for that, I tell you, because I could imagine you next to me and all I want to feel is the warmth of your body.

If only, if only I wasn't too scared to ask for your name.

I thought i was so much braver.

Maybe one day, I will.

Or maybe I won't.