2014 SC ruling vs deputy Ombudsman’s removal may be reversed—lawyer | Inquirer News

2014 SC ruling vs deputy Ombudsman’s removal may be reversed—lawyer

/ 12:33 PM February 01, 2018

Even if the Supreme Court has already ruled with finality that the President cannot discipline a deputy Ombudsman, such a ruling can still be abandoned and reversed, a lawyer said Thursday.

The issue on whether the President has disciplining authority over a deputy Ombudsman came to light after the Office of the President issued a 90-day preventive suspension against Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang.

The high court, in a January 2014 ruling, declared as unconstitutional Section 8 (2) of the Ombudsman Act which 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.”


The high court said it undermines the independence of the Ombudsman which is enshrined under the 1987 Constitution. The high court’s January 2014 ruling became final when it was included in the entries of judgment in May of that year.


But Atty. Manuelito Luna, one of the complainants against Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang, said Carandang’s preventive suspension, if questioned before the Supreme Court in a proper case, will likely trigger a revisit of Emilio A. Gonzales III v. Office of the President and companion case.

“It is not unusual for the Court, after several years and in a proper case, to revisit a controversial doctrine, as Gonzales III. In Atong Paglaum and consolidated cases, for instance, the Court did just that and abandon Ang Bagong Bayani,” Luna said.

Like Luna, Solicitor General Jose Calida is confident that the high court will reverse its 2014 decision.

“It the meantime, it is best for the Overall Deputy Ombudsman, Melchor Arthur Carandang, to cease and desist from performing his functions and respond to the complaints within a period of 10 days, as stated in the order,” Luna said.

He also warned that “the Executive might even use necessary but reasonable force to ensure that he is taken out of the place of the malfeasance if he defies the order. And this has been done before.”

Luna also called on Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to enforce the order of preventive suspension and desist from issuing incendiary statements. /je

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TAGS: Carandang, deputy Ombudsman, Rodrigo Duterte, ruling, Supreme Court

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