Morales bares demolition job vs Ombudsman
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Tuesday said a former high-ranking government official was leading a demolition job against the office amid allegations it was a mouthpiece of the administration.
This “operator” had been using the media to make it appear that the Ombudsman was wrong in administratively adjudicating a reelected official despite the condonation doctrine, Morales said in an interview after she delivered a speech at the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Rockwell, Makati City, for the Metrobank Foundation lecture on governance,.
Condonation doctrine ruling states that reelected officials cannot be held administratively liable for offenses during a previous term because their reelection meant their constituents have already forgiven them for their offenses.
Morales did not mention a name.
“There’s a demolition job. We are told of a former high government official, ang kontrata daw sa isang quote-unquote operator para sirain ang Ombudsman,” Morales said.
Morales made the statement after she was asked for her reaction on the assertion of Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance that the Ombudsman was a mouthpiece of the ruling Liberal Party.
Morales said this operator claiming to be a legal luminary said the Ombudsman defied the Supreme Court when it dismissed reelected officials despite the condonation doctrine.
“Mga alleged legal luminaries, they keep saying mali ang Ombudsman. Bakit hindi nila dalhin sa husgado? It’s the court which decides whether the Ombudsman is correct or not. They’re using the media to say na mali ang Ombudsman,” Morales said.
The Supreme Court junked the condonation doctrine, first introduced in a high court ruling in 1959, when the Ombudsman elevated the issue before the magistrates.
The issue first erupted when Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, son of Vice President Jejomar Binay, cited the doctrine after he was suspended and later dismissed for grave dishonesty following his graft indictment over the alleged overprice and rigging of the P2.2 billion Makati car park building.
Mayor Binay said he was reelected and therefore should have been spared from the allegations in his previous term.
Morales said this operator was spreading false information that the condonation doctrine could even result in dismissal of criminal cases.
She said the condonation doctrine applied only to administrative offenses such as grave misconduct and serious dishonesty. The Ombudsman has the power to dismiss from service a public official found guilty of the administrative offenses.
“Sasabihin nilang ang condonation doctrine would result in dismissal of the case, even a criminal case. Ang condonation doctrine applies only to administrative case. Matauhan sana ang mga iba na ginagamit ng mga operators na sirain ang Ombudsman,” she added.
Morales said she was leaving it up to the public to judge who was telling the truth.
“Ang demolition team ang nag-umpisa na sirain ang Ombudsman para masira ang credibility natin. Wala na tayong magagawa. Ang taumbayan na lang ang maghuhusga kung sino ang tama,” Morales said.
The Ombudsman also indicted Vice President Jejomar Binay for graft, malversation and falsification of public documents for his role in rigging the procurement of the allegedly overpriced Makati car park building.
The Ombudsman has denied Binay’s motion for reconsideration, paving the way for the filing of charges.
According to the Ombudsman’s office, it will file the graft and malversation cases against the Vice President after his term ends—unless he wins the presidency.
Asked what Morales would do after the end of her term in 2018 and under a Binay presidency, the Ombudsman said it would not be up to her to decide anymore.
“Anong magagawa ko? Basta nag-decide na kami, that’s my decision, it’s up to them how to enforce the decision. Kung mag-appeal siya, wala na sa aking poder yun,” Morales said.
Binay said the graft indictment was meant to ruin his presidential bid. RC
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