Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said that the dismissal of the disbarment complaint filed against her “was expected.”
Morales also said in a statement that she “appreciates the Supreme Court’s immediate and decisive action on the petition.”
Former Manila City councilor Greco Belgica filed the complaint before the Supreme Court (SC) against the Ombudsman for clearing former President Benigno Aquino 3rd in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) case.
The SC en banc junked the complaint on Tuesday, saying that the Ombudsman can be removed only by impeachment and cannot be sued for disbarment while in office.
Morales said that with the dismissal of the complaint, her office “can devote all its time and energy to cleaning up its dockets further of inherited cases and immediately investigating and resolving new complaints.”
The Office of the Ombudsman said that it “has been implementing an unprecedented zero backlog program as part of its case disposal system” and the 8-Point Priority Agenda which Morales laid out when she began her term.
Earlier, the Ombudsman found basis to charge former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad with usurpation of legislative powers, which stemmed from the issuance of National Budget Circular No. 541 to carry out the implementation of DAP.
The Ombudsman cleared Aquino and DBM Undersecretary Mario Relampagos from any accountability in the implementation of the P72-billion program from 2011 to 2013.
Complainants Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate of Bayan Muna Party-list and others filed a motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman’s ruling.
DAP, a stimulus package under the Aquino administration which aimed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth, was declared partly unconstitutional by the SC in July 2014.