SIMEON V. MARCELO
2002 – November 30, 2005
Simeon V. Marcelo is the third Ombudsman of the Republic of the Philippines following his appointment on 10 October 2002 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He entered the Maria Assumpta Seminary at Cabanatuan City for his secondary education and graduated as class valedictorian in 1970. The following year, he joined the San Jose Seminary and was First Honor of his class. He took his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the Ateneo de Manila University where he graduated with honors in 1974. Subsequently, he took up his Bachelor of Laws at the University of the Philippines and was among the top ten of the graduating class of 1979. While enrolled at the University of the Philippines, he was a recipient of the Crispin Llamado Scholarship Award. Further, he was a member of the Pi Gamma Mu International Social Science Honor Society and the Order of the Purple Feather Honor Society. He later placed fifth (with a rating of 89.9%) in the 1979 bar examinations.
Before he entered the government service in February 2001, he practiced law, specializing in intra-corporate disputes, bank fraud, corporate restructuring and recovery, arbitration/alternative dispute resolution, and election law.
He was an active member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines where he served as the Executive Editor of its Journal from 1993 to 1995. Subsequently, he served as Chairman of the National Committee on Legal Aid (1997-1999), Director for Legal Aid-Planning (1999-2000) and Head-Task Force on Child Abuse (2000).
Ombudsman Marcelo first caught the public’s attention during the 2000 Senate impeachment proceedings on graft charges against Mr. Joseph Estrada, then President of the Republic of the Philippines. During the proceedings, as a private prosecutor, he handled the presentation of the prosecution’s star witness, former Gov. Luis Singson. Thereafter, he was appointed as the Solicitor General of the Republic of the Philippines in February 2001. In October 2002, he was appointed as the Ombudsman, the youngest person ever appointed to said position.
During his term as Solicitor General, Ombudsman Marcelo successfully handled before the Supreme Court the recovery of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth worth US$680 Million. The decision in this case constitutes the first final ruling ever rendered finding the Marcoses to have acquired ill-gotten wealth and forfeiting the same in favor of the government. Then Solicitor General Marcelo also successfully handled before the Supreme Court other major cases, including those involving the constitutionality of the Plunder Law and the multi-billion peso coconut levy.
As Ombudsman, he now heads the panel of government lawyers prosecuting former President Joseph Estrada. Further, he actively supervises the prosecution of other major high-profile cases before the Sandiganbayan such as the President Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard case, the RSBS Pension Fund cases, the DPWH Repair Scam cases and the Major General Carlos F. Garcia cases.