Party-list to public: Support Ombudsman in dismissal order vs ex-MIAA execs
MANILA, Philippines — Trabaho Party-list has called on the public to support Ombudsman Samuel Martires amid the business groups’ petition seeking to reverse the dismissal order against former Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) General Manager Cesar Chiong and his assistant.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Trabaho Party-list said the petition “is a clear interference on the independence and investigatory functions of the Ombudsman.”
“While the 1987 Constitution created the Ombudsman as ‘an independent constitutional body, unfettered by political influence and insulated it from the ebb and tide of political fortunes,’ here comes now a group of businessmen trying to erode the integrity of the office,” Trabaho Party-list Secretary General Atty. Juan Paolo Lorica said.
“The decision dismissing Chiong and MIAA OIC assistant general manager Irene Montalbo is clearly supported by evidence. It is unfair for the business sector to even insinuate that the Ombudsman and the panel of investigators did not investigate and decide the case with utmost objectivity,” he added.
In August, the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal of Chiong and Miaa officer-in-charge and assistant general manager Irene Montalbo for grave abuse of authority and misconduct.
According to the Ombudsman’s 21-page decision, the dismissal stemmed from the complaint of anonymous Miaa officials about Chiong’s order to reassign about 285 employees without any basis after he assumed office in July last year.
Based on the complainants’ account, Chiong appointed Montalbo as OIC even after the latter’s unsatisfactory rating in the 2020 Office Performance Commitment and Review of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1.
Despite the petition, Lorica pointed out Martires’ record “as Ombudsman has consistently shown he has maintained his independence and that he does not look into the political color of the respondents of the cases being decided by his office.”
“It must be recalled that Ombudsman Martires caused the withdrawal of the usurpation case that his predecessor has filed against President Noynoy Aquino. And just recently, he dismissed from the service the Over-All Deputy Ombudsman for his involvement in the Pharmally case. The Ombudsman exacted justice for the Filipino people even as other government organs failed to do the same,” he said.