MANILA, Philippines ? Confident that President Benigno Aquino III is on their side, proponents of the move to oust Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez are hoping that the impeachment case they will file this Thursday at the House of Representatives against her will prosper.
Former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros, retired military general Danilo Lim, and Felipe Pestano will lodge the complaint at 11:30 a.m. in the office of the House secretary general.
Representatives Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao of Akbayan, which is affiliated with the Liberal Party of Aquino, will endorse the complaint.
Bag-ao said the complaint would contain the old charges against Gutierrez and new cases to prove that she has been sleeping on the job.
In the 14th Congress, the group also initiated an impeachment case against Gutierrez, but the justice committee, which was dominated by administration allies, junked the complaint.
?She won?t be off the hook, not only for her inaction on the cases involving the Arroyos, but also on other cases pending before her office that have been unresolved for many years,? Bag-ao said in a phone interview.
She said they were more confident that this time the case would be ?more solid in terms of presentation of our allegations and evidence.?
?We know this is a numbers game, but we believe too that President Aquino is serious in eradicating corruption and he cannot succeed in this effort if the person that will prosecute the corrupt officials will not do anything or will be so grossly negligent of her duties,? Bag-ao added.
The complaint will cite among other allegations, Gutierrez?s inaction on the national broadband network agreement with the Chinese firm ZTE Corporation that linked then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo to the enforcement of the contract, the case filed by Hontiveros for her illegal arrest in a women?s march in 2006, and the death of Philippine Navy Ensign Philip Andrew Pestano, which has been pending with the Ombudsman since 1995.
Pestano, an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy, was found dead on Sept. 27, 1995 in his stateroom with a shot in the head. While the Navy stands firm in its position that Pestano committed suicide, forensic investigation supports the theory that he was murdered.
Bag-ao said Akbayan would seek support from their allies in the chamber, especially the Liberal Party.
The LP has yet to support the complaint to be filed, saying it will first look into the case.