Retiring Poll Commissioner Rowena Guanzon with her signature feisty self answering foreign journalist in an online press conference a day before her retirement, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2022.  (FOCAP)

Retiring Commission on Election (Comelec) commissioner Rowena Guanzon has been shortlisted as Deputy Ombudsman of the Visayas.

Guanzon made the announcement in an online press conference with members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), Tuesday, Feb. 1, a day before her retirement.

“I’ve been shortlisted as Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas. I’m praying that God will bless my plans,” the feisty commissioner told international reporters.

Guanzon, who was appointed to the Comelec by the late President Benigno Aquino III in 2015, is not sure if she would even be appointed to the graft court, but hinted at her willingness.

“I don’t know how President Duterte views me now. But certainly he knows me as a non-nonsense strong woman. Let’s see if the president appoints me,” she said.

If appointed, Guanzon said, it would be a “great job” to continue her crusade against corrupt government workers, whom she warned of being put to jail.

“That (appointment) would be great!” she exclaimed. “The Deputy Ombudsman for [the] Visayas. We’re going to put these thieves to jail! I think that’s a good job.”

However, if Duterte would not appoint her, she said she would spend her time gardening, teaching at law schools, and writing law books, which she has been doing for years.

The poll veteran made headlines for the past days after accusing fellow commissioner Aimee Ferolino of delaying the release of the decision on the three consolidated disqualification cases against presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Guanzon claimed that Ferolino delayed releasing the decision so that her vote would not be counted after her retirement.

Ferolino, for her part, denied Guanzon’s allegations saying that she is carefully drafting the decision as the designated ponente and that Guanzon is trying to influence her.

Guanzon has released her separate opinion on Marcos Jr.’s DQ case in the absence of Ferolino’s decision. – Ryan Sorote