Duterte accuses Ombudsman Morales of partiality. Petition in Supreme Court challenging her continuing. Term expired in February 2015.

Ombudsman continuing irregularly.

PICS: Inquirer.net and Freeimages.com

PICS: Inquirer.net and Freeimages.com

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The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday spoke out against the partial governance of the Ombudsman. He blamed the Ombudsman of not being impartial in the official responsibilities that she is tasked with.

It was in a speech in which he addressed fresh appointees to various government departments. The event was organized in Malacanang, the official residence of the President.

The main allegation that he made against Conchita Carpio-Morales was that she practiced selective justice. He went on to explain that the Ombudsman, who should be impartial, chose to take up cases on bias. She had been soft on some while she was unreasonably tough towards others.

In addition, she was quite slow to take action against those she was favorably inclined to. On the other hand, she was quick to initiate stern action against those she didn’t like. Although the post required total impartiality and strict neutrality, Morales was not able to adhere to the requirements of the coveted post.

Cases against certain lawmakers did not see the light of day in spite of abnormal delay, Duterte stated. To prove his point, he referred to the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam in which lawmakers were the accused.

In that case that pertains to the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, the Ombudsman was dragging her feet. Janet Lim-Napoles allegedly masterminded the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam, in which lawmakers were implicated.

He questioned the Ombudsman’s office as to why the case did not reach its logical conclusion. He exhorted the Ombudsman to wind up the cases against the Senators if she so desired.

Furthermore, Duterte referred to the cases of two who continue to be behind bars at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Former Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada who still remain in custody.

The high court in 2015 granted bail another erstwhile Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who was detained since it was alleged that he had misused his pork barrel funds. Duterte, who saw no reason to allow the accused to post bail if he was guilty, also scoffed at this.

It also irked him that the Office of Ombudsman filed graft charges against Sen. Gregorio Honasan II over the alleged misuse of his pork barrel funds.

Another point that the President raised was as to how Morales could continue as the Ombudsman since she was supposed to serve out the remaining of the earlier one who resigned.

The previous incumbent, Merceditas Gutierrez was to be impeached but had resigned in April 2011 before she could face the impeachment trial.

The President also informed Morales that she could not claim to work for a full term as prescribed under the law.

In fact, he expressed his surprise as to why no one had pointed out the simple anomaly in the implementation of the rules of incumbency.

President Benigno Aquino III appointed Morales in 2010.

Now, a petition challenging her right to continue as the Ombudsman in the Supreme Court of the Philippines is pending. It was lawyer Rey Natahniel Ifurung who filed a petition challenging her continuing as the Ombudsman.

The petition claims that Morales should have stepped down in February 2015, when the the term of Gutierrez expired.

The petition was filed on June 29.

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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017