Former ombudsman lacked qualifications – GSIS

Philippines Government Service Insurance System says official wasn’t qualified to serve as a member of its board of trustees at the time of her appointment

Former ombudsman lacked qualifications – GSIS

Insurance News


The Philippines Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has concluded an inquiry revealing that former ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez lacked the necessary qualifications to serve as a member of its board of trustees at the time of her appointment in April 2023.

GSIS president and general manager Jose Arnulfo Veloso submitted the inquiry's findings to executive secretary Lucas Bersamin, addressing concerns raised in a whistleblowing complaint against Gutierrez, who currently represents the legal profession on the board, according to a report by Philstar Global.

The investigation was prompted by an anonymous email alleging that Gutierrez "failed to possess the mandatory qualifications required by the GSIS Charter" when she assumed her position.

Veloso, in a letter dated April 11, conveyed the GSIS findings to Bersamin, highlighting the discrepancy between Gutierrez's status and the requirements stipulated in Section 42 of Republic Act 8291, also known as the GSIS Charter, which mandates that trustees must be GSIS members upon their appointment, Philstar Global reported.

The GSIS provided a comprehensive timeline to Bersamin, documenting the handling of the anonymous email and the subsequent examination conducted by the pension office.

On March 28, the GSIS received the email seeking validation of Gutierrez's qualifications for her board role.

Copies of the complaint were also shared with Finance Secretary Ralph Recto, Civil Service Commission chair Karlo Nograles, and the Governance Commission for Government-owned and Controlled Corporations.

Gutierrez, who previously held the position of ombudsman during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, assumed her role on the GSIS board on April 28, 2023.

Notably, Gutierrez faced impeachment proceedings in 2011 initiated by the House of Representatives but resigned from her post as ombudsman before facing a Senate trial during the presidency of Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino.

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