The Philippine Supreme Court recently decided that the Ombudsman can remove corrupt officials (within the executive bureaucracy) directly, on its own initiative. That’s frankly a startling new power to just “discover” so many years after the Ombudsman Office began operations. It also potentially makes the Ombudsman a much more powerful player. Interestingly, this decision was penned by Justice Antonio Carpio, notably one not sympathetic to Arroyo (he swore Aquino in). Thus, the Ombudsman could become a powerful too in the Aquino campaign to clean up the bureaucracy of corrupt Arroyo appointees – assuming he’s serious about following through on his pledges. You can read more about the case here.