THE Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the families of the victims of the Mamasapano tragedy called on Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to step down for her refusal to indict former president Benigno Aquino 3rd in connection with the mowing down of 44 police commandos in Maguindanao in 2015.
VACC founding chairman Dante Jimenez said Morales was incompetent and should be replaced.
“The people do not trust her anymore. She should resign,” he said in a news conference on Wednesday.
Jimenez also lashed out at Morales for her “selective justice” and vowed to seek her impeachment.
“Morales, you are biased. Better resign and I am calling on the people to rise up against this Ombudsman because its system is down to the trash already,” he said.
He added that his group receives “so many cases” that should be handled by the Ombudsman.
Jimenez said his group will file an impeachment complaint against Morales “in a few days.”
The group reiterated its call on Morales to hold Aquino accountable for the botched police operations led by former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force chief Getulio Napeñas.
In January this year, the Ombudsman filed charges against Purisima and Napeñas for usurpation of authority under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code and for violating Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The Ombudsman said there was no probable cause to indict Aquino.
Felicitas Nacino, the mother of PO2 Nicky Nacino Jr., one of the policemen killed, echoed Jimenez’s call and vowed to seek justice for her son and the other slain SAF officers.
“It still hurts us after two years, there is still no justice. We are calling on the Ombudsman, where is she? If you can no longer handle your job, you should resign,” Nacino said.
Julie Faustino-Danao, the mother of PO2 Walner Danao, said Morales should act swiftly on the cases of the SAF 44 by filing charges against Aquino.
“If she (Morales) cannot act on this, then I would request her to resign so there would be another Ombudsman who would act on the matter,” Mrs. Danao told The Manila Times.
As part of their call for justice for the fallen SAF members, the VACC plans to draft the impeachment complaint against Morales, citing culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust as grounds to remove the Ombudsman.
Nacino and Danao expressed support to the impeachment bid.
“We support the impeachment complaint 100 percent because after two years, we do not have knowledge on what really happened on our sons,” Danao said.
“Our sons were just thrown out there, it pains us truly and what we are looking for is justice until now,” she added.
In January, VACC legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio revealed that one of their members, former congressman Jacinto Paras, has prepared an impeachment complaint against Morales that has the support of 20 lawmakers in the House of Representatives.
On Wednesday, Paras said at least 30 congressmen are supporting the ouster bid against Morales.
“When you talk [about]impeachment, it requires at least one congressman [to endorse it]. Unless there are one third of the Congress who would really support this impeachment complaint,” he said.
“Still, it has to go through the process. So it would not matter if it will be supported by 18 or 20 but at least just one congressman will do and I am sure that we have more [congressmen who would support the impeachment bid],” Paras noted.
He however refused to identify the lawmakers who also want Morales out.
According to Paras, it will take time before the impeachment complaint reaches the House of Representatives because the Ombudsman is “powerful” and may scare off lawmakers who will support her impeachment.