Drilon to Duterte: File case vs Ombudsman than engage in ‘word war’
Instead of engaging in a word war, President Rodrigo Duterte should just file an impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales if he has any evidence against her.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon gave this unsolicited advice to Duterte on Monday as he called for a “ceasefire” in the word war between the President and the Ombudsman.
“The rhetoric and the word war between the President, on the one hand, and the Ombudsman and the Chief Justice, on the other, will only lead us to nowhere,” Drilon said in a statement.
“We must keep in mind that the Constitution has enough safeguards to discipline and go after erring officials,” he added.
Drilon said the President should initiate the filing of an impeachment case against Morales if he is in possession of any evidence against her.
“We should apply and follow the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Drilon even noting that the power to investigate and prosecute impeachable officers “exclusively lies in Congress.”
“The power to investigate and prosecute impeachable officers such as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman lies solely in Congress through an impeachment,” the senator said.
Drilon cited that “under Section 2, Article XI of the Constitution, the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.”
“The President cannot exercise authority and influence over an independent body such as the Ombudsman, more so over a co-equal branch of government such as the judiciary. That is how our structure of government is contemplated under the constitution,” he pointed out.
“The Congress can provide checks and balances with the executive, the judiciary and independent constitutional commissions but the constitution has likewise provided them sufficient power to be independent and isolated from pressure in order to effectively carry out their constitutional duties,” Drilon also said. /kga
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