• EDITORIAL

    Morales impeachment: A good test for 17th congress

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    IF only to restore public respect and faith in the Congress, the House of Representatives of the 17th Congress should treat with seriousness the current move of a score of congressmen and several civil-society organizations to file an impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for “criminal negligence,” betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

    This is important for two reasons.

    First, the 17th Congress needs to prove that it is an improvement on the 15th and 16th Congress, which were significantly marred by the pork barrel scandal, the first-ever impeachment of a sitting chief justice of the Supreme Court, and the railroading of initiatives from President Benigno Aquino III.

    The legislature ended the first six months of its first regular session by passing only two laws:

    1. The law postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections from October 31, 2016, to October 21, 2017 or Republic Act 10923.

    2. The 2017 budget law – Republic Act 10924 or the 2017 General Appropriations Act, amounting to P3.35 trillion.

    This is niggardly and insignificant, considering the huge amounts that the nation spends on the antics and perks of the congressmen and senators and on their grandstanding committee investigations that lead nowhere.

    Second, the impeachment move against Morales is important because Ombudsman Morales made a big show of filing charges against former PNP Director General Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force Director Getulio Napeñas over the failed Mamasapano operation that resulted in the brutal slaying of 44 SAF commandos. And yet, she significantly failed to hold to account the one public official who from first to last authorized the fateful and tragic mission in Mamasapano on January 25, 2015 – former President Benigno Aquino III.

    Ombudsman Morales committed this grave error of omission despite the two-year clamor of the public and aggrieved families for justice and closure in the Mamasapano tragedy. This stands in marked contrast to the decision of President Duterte to convene an independent commission to conduct a new inquiry into Mamasapano.

    By impeaching Ombudsman Morales, the Congress will not be taking an unprecedented step. It is not forgotten by the public that during the term of President Aquino III (2010-2016), the House of Representatives of the 15th Congress impeached then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez on charges of the alleged underperformance of her office and her failure to act on several cases during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    On March 22, 2011, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Gutierrez, sending the committee report as the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate which would act as an impeachment court. Gutierrez resigned on April 29, 2011, thereby canceling the impeachment trial at the Senate.

    The pattern of presidential orchestration and congressional obsequiousness would be repeated in the case of the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. The Senate trial pushed through because Corona to the end refused to quit. He contended and many agreed that Aquino wanted him impeached for writing the Supreme Court decision on Hacienda Luisita and holding for the rights of the farmers.

    It is uncertain at this point whether the impeachment movers can muster enough votes in the House for an impeachment complaint against Morales to be formally entertained by the chamber. As of the latest count, the impeachment movers said they can already count on 20 House members who would vote for the complaint. The number will swell if the House leadership decides to support the impeachment effort.

    A vote of one-third of all the 293 members of the House of Representatives is needed to elevate the complaint to the Senate, which will sit as an impeachment court to try the case.

    For her part, Ombudsman Morales can count on the support of Liberal Party representatives and senators to beat back an impeachment complaint against her.

    Some party legislators have pooh-poohed the chances of success of any move to impeach Morales.

    We think the issue is a good test of the mettle of the Congress in acting on matters of grave public import.

    If the legislature can act with wisdom on a case involving partisanship and dereliction of duty by the Ombudsman, we can trust the Congress with the task of deliberating on the priority initiatives of the administration, that include:

    1 Revising the Constitution and installing a federal system of government;

    2 Legislating a new peace formula for conflict in the Philippine South;

    3. Restoring the death penalty in the criminal justice system; and

    4. Granting emergency powers to President Duterte to solve the traffic crisis in Metro Manila.

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    9 Comments

    1. The impeachment of Morales should have been started months ago. Instead of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez picking on Chief Bato he should have focused on this. Replacing Morales with an upright Ombudsman will help the government place several big time government criminals behind bars.

    2. I am against corruption that’s why I am against corrupt ombytchwoman cunntcheater capro moralLess!

      Carpio-Morales is a corrupt ombudsman, neglecting her job in order to advance the interest of the Liberal Party of the Philippines. Erineo “Ayong,” Maliksi, a Liberal Party member’s graft and corruption case was dismissed by the court due to “inordinate delays” by Carpio-Morales even though the court found “reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed.”. “’Suffice it to state that based on obtaining facts, there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed. Be that as it may, however, it behooves the Court to state that the other ground of inordinate delay … is an overriding consideration…’ the court said in its resolution”. “The court also noted that the Ombudsman only released the joint resolution finding probable cause July 8, 2014, four years after the consolidation of the three cases. The resolution did not even include the third PCSO complaint, the court said. ” newsinfo**Inquirer**Net/673013/govt-seeks-reinstatement-of-case-vs-maliksi
      newsinfo**inquirer**net/670067/graft-rap-vs-ex-cavite-governor-dismissed-over-ombudsmans-inordinate-delay
      And another one: www***mb***com***ph/sandiganbayan-dismisses-graft-charges-vs-bohol-solon-governor/ “Since it took 15 years for Office of the Ombudsman to file charges, the Sandiganbayan First Division has dismissed due to inordinate delay the graft case against Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos, Gov. Edgardo Chatto and their co-accused in connection with the undervalued sale of the province’s water and electric utilities.
      newsinfo***inquirer***net/758240/court-junks-p627-m-graft-case-vs-gov-after-long-delay “Court junks P627-M graft case vs gov after long delay”

      2. Why do you praise ombytchwoman Cunntcheater corruptbytch when she hasn’t won a single big case against the corrupt like GMA, in fact only not guilty verdicts are out?

      3. I filed a case against the FDA with overwhelming evidence and I lost!WTF!!!!

      Ang alam ko number 1 corrupt si ombytchwoman as she was entrusted with the power to counter corruption yet she condones corruption!

      The FDA is extremely corrupt. List of people at the FDA and DOH who are corrupt: Atty Romela Devera, Sec. Garin, Dr. Miriam Sales, Atty. Lutero III, Jesusa Cirunay, Dr. Peter Glenn Chua, Agnette Peralta, MArivic Paulino, Atty. Jasper Lascano and Atty. Emilio Polig and former employees: Sec. Ona, FDA chief Suzette Lazo, FDA chief Kenneth Hartigan-Go (and now undersecretary of Health)! are extremely corrupt!
      Wicked_Lia(r) said, ” mukhang kilala mo ang mga tao sa FDA aH!
      nakakatransaksyones mo ba?
      lahat naman ng ahensya may mga BULOK……..”
      Yan na! Inamin ng corrupt silang mga N0ytard at MARnanakaw!

      Why hasn’t Ombytchwoman Cunntcheater Capro MoralLess Corruptbytch held Purusama in contempt of court by violating the suspension order on him? Corrupt much?

      How come Ombytchwoman Cunntcheater Capro MoralLess Corruptbytch hasn’t filed charges against anyone in the North Rail project scandal? Corrupt much? wwwmbcomph/what-happened-to-northrail/

      For the information of the bloggers:

      Read Atty Salumbides et al vs. Ombudsman, G.R. no. 180917 promulgated by the Supreme Court on April 23, 2010.” This is one of the last decisions written by former Justice Carpio-Morales now, the Ombudsman herself. While the petitioners prayer for the extension of the “doctrine of condonation” was rejected because it can only be available to elective officials, Carpio-Morales asserted the doctrine of condonation and cited several cases to wit:

      “More than 60 years ago, the Court in Pascual v. Hon. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija17c?a issued the landmark ruling that prohibits the disciplining of an elective official for a wrongful act committed during his immediately preceding term of office. The Court explained that “[t]he underlying theory is that each term is separate from other terms, and that the reelection to office operates as a condonation of the officer’s previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor.”18c?a

      The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. To do otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When the people elect[e]d a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It is not for the court, by reason of such faults or misconduct[,] to practically overrule the will of the people.19c?a

      Lizares v. Hechanova, et al.20c?a replicated the doctrine. The Court dismissed the petition in that case for being moot, the therein petitioner “having been duly reelected, is no longer amenable to administrative sanctions.”21c?a

      Ingco v. Sanchez, et al.22c?a clarified that the condonation doctrine does not apply to a criminal case.23c?a Luciano v. The Provincial Governor, et al.,24c?a Olivarez v. Judge Villaluz,25c?a and Aguinaldo v. Santos26echoed the qualified rule that reelection of a public official does not bar prosecution for crimes committed by him prior thereto.

      Consistently, the Court has reiterated the doctrine in a string of recent jurisprudence including two cases involving a Senator and a Member of the House of Representatives.27c?a

      Salalima v. Guingona, Jr.28c?a and Mayor Garcia v. Hon. Mojica29reinforced the doctrine. The condonation rule was applied even if the administrative complaint was not filed before the reelection of the public official, and even if the alleged misconduct occurred four days before the elections, respectively. Salalima did not distinguish as to the date of filing of the administrative complaint, as long as the alleged misconduct was committed during the prior term, the precise timing or period of which Garcia did not further distinguish, as long as the wrongdoing that gave rise to the public
      official’s culpability was committed prior to the date of reelection.” (end of quote)

    3. Did Morales forgot her recent decision before she left the Supreme Court? Why did she reasserted the “doctrine of condonation” as to elective officials when she was still a member of the Supreme Court yet now, conveniently urged the Supreme Court to revisit the time honored doctrine (60 years)? For convenience?

      Are you saying that the Supreme Court was consistently wrong in a string of several cases for 60 years reiterating the said doctrine and you are the only one correct Sereno? Are you saying that Capio-Morales was also wrong considering that the decision penned by Carpio-Morales was decided by a “court en banc”?

      “As for San Pedro, his administrative liability was rendered moot and academic owing to his reelection in the same position in 2010,” she said, referring to a Supreme Court doctrine that condones the administrative liability of an elected public official for a past offense once that official is reelected for a fresh term.

      Kaya pala! (No wonder!)

      Proof that N0ytard is condoning corruption:

      wwwabs-cbnnewscom/video/nation/10/23/15/pnoy-defends-govt-workers-bribery-corruption-issues

      Kaya pala inignore yung complaint ko against the FDA, DOH, etc. He is condoning the corrupt practices of government employees! Doesn’t N0ytard know that those government employees are extorting money from the public? If we do not give, they won’t give us a permit, just like what happened to me! And I reported it to ombitchwoman and she dismissed the case.

      Once more N0ytard blames the victims:

      pinoytrendingnews***net/i-feel-sorry-for-the-airport-security-personnel-wrongly-embroiled-on-the-tanim-bala-issue-pnoy/

      philsta***com/metro/2015/11/24/1525267/noy-tanim-bala-just-3-34-m-travelers

      Blaming the victims once more and I thought he was anti-corruption? Isn’t one incident, one too many?

      Even MARnanakaw admits that there’s massive corruption: philstar***com/police-metro/2015/11/27/1526400/mar-inamin-na-bigo-ang-daang-matuwid

      www***philstar***com/headlines/2015/12/10/1531041/noy-fight-vs-corruption-it-takes-two-tango Uh0oh! Fault of the victims again.

      “Abaya should be held liable as he signed the supposedly anomalous contract.” newsinfo***inquirer***net/745198/poe-disappointed-as-ombudsman-spares-abaya-in-graft-charges

      P3.8-B MRT deal awarded without public bidding done by pAbaya!!! N0ytard approved.

      www***philstar***com/headlines/2015/12/26/1536377/p3.8-b-mrt-deal-awarded-without-public-bidding

      globalnation****inquirer****net/75849/france-blacklists-philippines-16-other-countries-for-handling-foreign-aid

      Napoles insists Abad ‘tutored’ her on fund scam, says she gave to campaigns of Chiz, Alan, Villar interaksyoncom/article/87674/napoles-insists-abad-tutored-her-on-fund-scam-says-she-gave-to-campaigns-of-chiz-alan-villar

      Philippine Politics has been listed as second most profitable business in Asia, beating giant companies like Toyota Motors, Samsung, Keppel, and even its own San Miguel and Ayala Corporation according to a study published by Money Magazine in 2014. kahimyang***info/kauswagan/general-blogs/1743/study-says-philippine-politics-is-one-of-the-most-profitable-businesses-in-asia

    4. Morales decisions may not have been best at times but it doesn’t mean she is corrupt. Although she might as well get flushed out of power because she smells like one. Unless there are miraculous ways she can clean herself from smelling like shit, I doubt she’d find anyone to stand by her. Except perhaps other personalities who smells of corruption too.

    5. Sure! Impeach her! She’s a blind yellow follower, being a selective case of who to charge, abuse of power and doesn’t need to continue Ombudsman.

    6. The move to impeach Ombudsman Morales by Congress will always be suspect of being politically motivated, thus, less appealing to the public. Just the same, it may provide the current Congress the chance to make itself stand out as a no-nonsense body, instead of grandstanding army of Du30.

    7. The issue of Morales’ impeachment should have been raised at the beginning of Duterte’s term. Now with the raging controversies hounding Duterte’s administration, including the seeming impunity of corrupt police officials and the resulting failure of his war on drugs, this Morales impeach issue, as well as others involving Aquino, may sound nothing more than a diversionary tactic.