Monteroso is new Mindanao ombudsman

Until his appointment, Monteroso headed two prosecution bureaus in the Office of the Ombudsman Central Office in Manila and was one of two acting deputies in the special prosecution department.

He was in the JBC shortlist along with Davao City’s chief prosecutor, Raul Bendigo; Digos City executive judge Marivic Trabajo-Daray and Manila-based Assistant Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol.

Thirteen candidates — seven from Mindanao, five from Luzon and one from the Visayas — applied for the post when Deputy Ombudsman Antonio Valenzuela retired on July 4.

Monteroso is Mindanao's fourth Ombudsman after Cesar Nitorreda, Margarito Gervacio, Jr. and Valenzuela.    

A native of Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, Monteroso studied law at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City, according to lawyer Marco Buena, spokesperson for the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao.

Buena said Monteroso rose from the ranks in the Ombudsman – from special prosecutor in 1992, to director, to acting deputy special prosecutor.

Monteroso, who will assume the post in the first week of December, used to work with the Housing and Land Regulatory Board and the Office of the Solicitor-General, Buena said.

Monteroso was appointed on Oct. 19, according to the website of the JBC. His  appointment came 17 days after the 90-day period required for the replacement of a vacant post.

Monteroso will head 85 employees, including 25 lawyers in Davao City and Cagayan de Oro. Earlier, Ombudsman Mindanao officials planned to open an office in each of Mindanao's four other regions.

The Office of the Ombudsman is mandated to investigate anomalies and inefficiency in government service, not only to do preliminary investigation but also to conduct fact-finding investigation to gather evidence.

It is also tasked to prosecute graft cases before the courts. It has disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials, except members of Congress, the Judiciary and impeachable officials.

The Ombudsman has a graft prevention thrust and recently launched a whistle blowing campaign to increase citizen participation in curbing corruption.