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Impeach rap vs Morales draws zero endorsement

/ 05:24 PM December 13, 2017

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales during interview at Ramon Magsaysay Center in Manila.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

No member of the House of Representatives endorsed the impeachment complaint filed on Wednesday against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales for alleged betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption and culpable violation of the Constitution.

Lawyer Manuelito Luna, counsel for the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) said “many” congressmen “committed” to endorse the complaint, but as of 5:00 p.m., the complaint remained unendorsed by any lawmaker.

“This is a verified complaint but unendorsed,” former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto “Jing” Paras said.

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“I am confident that there will be endorsers,” he added.

But an endorsement of any House member is needed before an impeachment complaint is deemed filed and a verified complaint.

The complainants, led by the VACC, is accusing Morales of betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption and culpable violation of the Constitution.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte also threatened to file an impeachment case against Morales, accusing her of “selective justice.”

When the Office of the Ombudsman launched their probe into the alleged multi-billion wealth of the President, he also warned Morales of an investigation for her alleged corruption and partiality.

The VACC, which also filed an impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, is a known ally of the President.

The complainants are the VACC represented by its Chair Martin Diño, relatives of fallen Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, Tanggulang Demokrasya, Inc., Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution, Inc., and former Representatives Paras and Glenn Chong.

Grounds for impeachment

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According to the 94-page complaint, Morales committed betrayal of public trust and graft and corruption when she allegedly conspired with her overall Deputy Melchor Carandang in divulging information pertaining to the alleged bank transactions of Duterte and his family, and when she acted in bad faith on the issue, respectively.

The third ground states that she committed graft and corruption and betrayed public trust for not recusing herself from the SALN-related case of Diño vs. Salceda, “despite the fact that Salceda’s lawyer was Morales’ own brother.”

The complainants also accused Morales of culpably violating the Constitution and betrayed public trust for “failing to act promptly on complaints” against those implicated for the death of the SAF-44.

Morales, the complainants said, also betrayed public trust for “practicing selective justice.”

Lastly, the complainants are accusing the Ombudsman of betraying public trust for allegedly “sitting on the complaint and for being biased in favor of former President Benigno Aquino on the cases related to the Oplan Exodus and the Disbursement Acceleration Program cases.”

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