Morales refuses to comment on impeachment complaint | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

Source:
Marcelo, E. (2017, December 13). Morales refuses to comment on impeachment complaint. The Philippine Star. Retrieved December 13, 2017 from http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/12/13/1768117/morales-refuses-comment-impeachment-complaint

Morales refuses to comment on impeachment complaint
By Elizabeth Marcelo (philstar.com) | Updated December 13, 2017 – 7:21pm

MANILA, Philippines — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales Wednesday refused to comment on the impeachment complaint lodged against her by various groups led by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.

“Until I get hold of a copy of the complaint, I have nothing to say,” Morales said in a text message coursed through the ombudsman’s Public Information and Media Relations Bureau.

On Wednesday, the VACC and other critics of Morales including lawyer Manuelito Luna, former Rep. Jacinto Paras and Glenn Chong and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc. President Eligio Mallari submitted a 77-page impeachment complaint against Morales before the House of Representatives’ Office of the Secretary General.

But since the complaint failed to get an endorsement from any congressmen, it was not considered filed but was merely received and noted by the House’s secretary general.

Morales, who is set to retire in July 2018, has earlier said that she is not worried about any impeachment complaint.

“No, it doesn’t matter. It does not worry me at all,” Morales said last month after VACC legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio said their group is preparing a “stronger” impeachment complaint against her that would pass the scrutiny of the House of Representatives.

Grounds for complaint
Among the grounds cited in the complaint were betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption and culpable violation of the Constitution.

The complaint revolves around the alleged “inordinate delays” in the Office of the Ombudsman’s investigation on several complaints, which supposedly resulted in the dismissal of several high-profile cases before the Sandiganbayan.

The complainants also cited Morales’ alleged partiality in her office’s investigation on the 2015 Mamasapano incident, in which more than 60 people including 44 troopers from the Philippine National Police were killed.

The group said Morales rushed the filing of graft and usurpation cases against former President Benigno Aquino III before the Sandiganbayan in order to shield him from graver charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide.

In an interview with reporters last month, Morales maintained that she always “go by the evidence” in deciding on the cases to be filed in court against former and incumbent government officials.

In their complaint, Morales’ other critics said she must also be held liable for conspiring with Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang in disclosing the supposed illegally obtained bank records of President Rodrigo Duterte and his family.

It can be remembered that Carandang earlier said he was authorized by Morales to probe Duterte’s bank transactions when the latter was the mayor of Davao City in connection with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s allegation that the president has ill-gotten wealth.

Carandang said his office had already obtained bank documents from the Anti-Money Laundering Council showing that Duterte and his family have over P1 billion worth of transactions in several banks from 2006 to 2016.

But in a statement issued after Carandang’s claim hit the headlines, the AMLC denied providing any bank records to the ombudsman. The AMLC further said it has yet to evaluate if there is ground to initiate an investigation on Duterte’s bank transactions.

“No comment,” Carandang simply told reporters last month when asked for clarification on how his office obtained Duterte’s bank records.

Published in Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

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