Pangilinan backs Ombudsman’s move to reject suspension of deputy
Senator Francis “Kiko”Pangilinan has thrown his support behind Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who refused to enforce what she described as Malacanang’s “patently unconstitutional” suspension of her deputy.
“The Ombudsman is simply enforcing an SC decision that says the President cannot suspend the Ombudsman or his or her deputies. Supreme Court (SC) rulings form part of the law of the land,” Pangilinan pointed out in a statement Wednesday night.
“She is upholding the rule of law and for this she has our support,” the senator added.
The Office of the President has placed Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang under a 90-day preventive suspension after charging him with three administrative offenses for allegedly disclosing President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged bank records.
In refusing to enforce the Palace’s order, Morales cited the 2014 SC ruling, which declares as unconstitutional Section 8 (2) of the Ombudsman Act (Republic Act 6770).
The said section, she said, provides that “a Deputy or the Special Prosecutor may be removed from office by the President or any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman and after due process.”
“Like any government official, the Ombudsman has sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land,” the Ombudsman said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“The Ombudsman will thus not allow herself to betray her sworn duty to uphold the Constitution by recognizing what is patently unconstitutional as ordained by the Supreme Court en banc in Gonzales III v. Office of the President (G.R. No. 196231, 28 January 2014),” she added. /kga
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