Duterte has right to defend himself vs Ombudsman – solons
Contrary to some of their colleagues’ views, two lawmakers said the plan to create a special commission to probe and rid the Office of the Ombudsman of its corrupt officials is within President Rodrigo Duterte’s powers and rights.
“I think the President is entitled to all kinds of defenses available under the law just like anybody being accused of any irregularities or anomalies or a crime,” Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol (AKB) partylist said in a press conference.
“Kung ito ang depensa ng pangulo, we have to respect it. May akusasyon sa kanya, may depensa siya. You cannot just accuse anybody tapos mananahimik lang,” he added.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate earlier warned that the President’s move may run against the Constitution, noting that the office should be “free from political pressures.”
When asked if he thinks the President was trying to threaten his critics, Batocabe said, “It’s his (Duterte’s) style.”
“Pag inakusahan mo siya aatake siya. ‘Yun ang kaniyang style. ‘Yan ang kanyang strategy bilang abogado,” he said.
ABS partylist Rep. Eugene Michael de Vera also backed Duterte’s moves to investigate the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Wala namang monopoly ang Ombudsman sa pag-imbestiga ng mga tamang gawain o maling gawain lamang. Siyempre ang Office of the President meron din yang tungkulin na lahat ng batas sa Pilinas ay nagaganmpanan nang tama. Kung ‘yung Ombudsman sumusobra, dapat din imbestigahan,” de Vera said.
Batocabe reiterated that Duterte is entitled to his own “defense.”
“Siya ang best defense lawyer n’ya. Siya ang nakakaalam. Huwag mo akusahan ang presidente kung ayaw mo magdepensa siya ng ganyan,” said Batocabe.
On Saturday, Duterte dared Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign with him, amid the start of the Ombudsman’s probe into his alleged unexplained wealth.
The Office of Ombudsman previously said it would not be “intimidated” by Duterte’s threat to create a body to probe the agency. /cbb