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MANILA, Philippines - Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales is unfazed by the threat against her life, saying this will not stop her from going after government officials accused of graft and corruption.
“These are risks attendant to the job,” she said during an ambush interview with reporters on Thursday.
On Wednesday, a day after Chief Justice Corona was convicted by the Senate impeachment court, a package containing a hand grenade was left at the ombudsman's residence in Muntinlupa City.
With the package was a note written: "PANG DENSA KAY CCM-NAGMAMAKALASAKIT."
Despite the threat, Carpio-Morales said her family seemed undisturbed. “They’re okay. They’re cool, that’s part of the trade, part of the office.”
Carpio-Morales earlier testified before the Senate that based on a report from the Anti-Money Laundering Council, Corona, her former colleague at the Supreme Court, had 82 dollar accounts worth $12 million.
Corona refuted Carpio-Morales'claim and said that he had only four remaining dollar accounts worth $2.4 million.
The chief justice was convicted and consequently removed from office after admitting that he did not declare the said dollar accounts and local accounts worth P80 million in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.
Meanwhile, authorities are yet to determine the motive of the person who left the grenade.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo on Thursday said authorities were receiving "mixed" signals from the person who left the explosive.
Robredo said it could be possible that the grenade was left by a sympathizer of Morales.
"The motive remains unclear at this point. The handwritten note indicated that it could be from a concerned person," the DILG chief said.
What is certain is that the suspect did not intend to kill the Ombudsman, according to Robredo. "It could be to scare her or sympathize with her," he said.
He said it was "not fair" to link Corona's camp or supporters to the incident. "We do not want to speculate at this point."
Investigators said the grenade was wrapped with a plastic from a bakery shop while the note was written on the back of a gas station receipt.
The lot number of the grenade was not part of the arsenal of the Philippine National Police, according to Robredo.
Also, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said the explosive, the type used during World War II, was not part of its arsenal.
Government investigators are checking all uniformed service units in the country to determine whether the lot number of the grenade belongs to any of them, according to Robredo.