LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… It is time for you to act LORD, your law is being broken…” (Proverbs 119:126, the Holy Bible).
PIMENTEL BLASTS OMBUDSMAN ON SENATOR’S OUSTER: Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, joined critics in lambasting Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales over her decision to oust Sen. Joel Villanueva, saying neither Morales nor the Office of the Ombudsman have any disciplinary power over an incumbent member of Congress.
In an interview with the program “Tambalang Batas at Somintac” which airs Mondays-to-Fridays at Radyo Agila’s DZEC 1062 kHz and its sister stations nationwide and worldwide through Facebook Live, Pimentel clarified that this is because the Ombudsman Act of 1989, in its Section 21, provides that the Ombudsman is not the disciplining authority over members of Congress.
Pimentel told me and my co-host and partner, DZEC Malacanang reporter Ludovico Somintac, that he will allow Morales to correct her error since Villanueva, a first termer senator who run and was elected under the Liberal Party of President Aquino, managed to already file a motion for Morales to reconsider her order against him.
MORALES VIOLATED THE OMBUDSMAN LAW: The question that presents itself for resolution here is, did not Morales know that, under the very law that created the Office of the Ombudsman, she has no power to suspend or remove any congressman or senator of the Republic?
I am sure that with her vast experience in the judiciary, which was capped by her stint at the Supreme Court, she knew, or ought to have known, the extent as well as the limits of her power as an Ombudsman. I am sure that she knows, or ought to have known, what Section 21 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 is saying, so that there was no justification for her violating what is contained therein.
For those who have not read Section 21 yet, here is what it provides: “The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local government, government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress, and the Judiciary.”
WHY DID MORALES INSIST ON OUSTING SENATOR? And that is not all there is to it. Morales should also know, or ought to have known, that she could not suspend or dismiss any official who was re-elected in his or her previous position, or elected in another position, when the acts that are being attributed to that official were committed prior to November 10, 2015, since this was the decision of the Supreme Court in a case that questioned her dismissal of then Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay.
Now, Morales must explain why she dared contravene the law which says she could not suspend or dismiss any member of Congress, and the Supreme Court decision in the case of Junjun Binay which said any official who is being sued for acts prior to November 10, 2015 could not be suspended or dismissed once he is re-elected, because he is considered to have been condoned by that re-election.
What Morales did in the case of Sen. Villanueva clearly constitutes betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, and even graft and corruption. I am sure she was fully aware of all of these when she decided to order the dismissal of the lawmaker. Now, why did she insist on proceeding with violating the law and defying a court decision?
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