A day after President Rodrigo Duterte said that he wanted the next ombudsman with a integrity, who “could not be a politician, especially not a woman,” Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Hernando Bello III reiterated his desire to be the country’s next top graft-buster, replacing Conchita Carpio-Morales, whose seven-year term will end on July 26, 2018.
“‘Yong advocacy at programa ng ating Pangulo ay ‘yong number one…anti-corruption n’ya at nakita n’yo naman ‘yong kanyang kaseryoso(han). Gusto ko namang tulungan s’ya kung papayagan n’ya ko [The President’s number one advocacy is anti-corruption and you’ve seen his seriousness about it. I would like to help him in his advocacy if he would allow me to do so],” said the 73-year-old Bello during an interview with dzRH Thursday morning, May 17.
The DOLE chief confirmed that he had submitted last May 11 his application and other requirements for the ombudsman position to the Judicial and Bar Council, which opened the post last March. The JBC is the institution that screens applicants for positions at the Office of the Ombudsman and recommends appointees to the President.
Party-list representative, Bayan secretary-general
Bello, who is also the incumbent government peace panel chair, became Duterte’s dormmate at the Young Men’s Christian Association Dormitory when the two were still students. The President helped Bello in the latter’s campaign during the 2013 party-list elections where he won as 1BAP party-list representative
During Martial Law, Bello became secretary-general for Mindanao of the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and was among the leaders of the welga ng bayan, paralyzing transport and economic activities in the region for a week. Duterte’s mother, Soledad “Soling” Roa-Duterte also led the strike.
DOJ chief, solicitor general, peace panel chair
In 1986, during the presidency of Corazon Aquino, Bello was appointed as undersecretary of the Department of Justice and concurrent ex-officio commissioner of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board and director of the Dangerous Drugs Board. He served as DOJ secretary from July 15, 1991 to June 6, 1992.
During the Ramos administration, Bello became solicitor general from Sept. 1996 to Feb. 1998. He was again appointed as DOJ secretary, a post he served from Feb. 1, 1998 to June 30, 1998, and also became chief negotiator of the Philippine government peace panel for talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army-National Democratic Front from 1992 to 1998.
During the Arroyo administration, Bello again became chairman of the government peace panel for talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF from 2001 to 2004. He also became president of the Philippine National Oil Corp-Development and Management Corporation from 2004 to 2005; general manager and chief executive officer of the Philippine Reclamation Authority from January to December 2006; appointed presidential adviser for new government centers in July 2007; and became Cabinet secretary in May 2008.
Lawyer, corporate director
Bello, who studied at the Ateneo de Manila University Law School and became a lawyer in 1971, became among the partners of Yulo Carpio & Bello Law Offices and the legal counsel from 1973 to 1975 of C. Alcantara & Sons, Inc., among the country’s largest logging and plywood companies established in 1954 by Conrado Dela Cruz Alcantara of Pasay City, and the founding firm of the Alcantara Group of Companies.
Bello also became the director of the Sobrepeña-owned pre-need firms College Assuarance Plan; Comprehensive Annuity Plan & Pension Corp.; and CAP Life Insurance Corp, CAP Realty, Inc., and Read Eagle Lending Investors Corp. He, too, became among the directors of the Sobrepeña-controlled Camp John Hay Dev’t Corp.
He also became a director of San Miguel Corp. from October 2006 to July 2009; independent director of San Miguel Purefoods Company Inc. starting in May 2013, and a corporate director of Risks, Opportunities Assessment and Management (ROAM) Inc., which provides the following services: political, legal, and regulatory risk analysis, business and investment risk analysis, business, political, and social surveys, image and relationship management, political, economic, social research and studies, and governance advisory and training.