Suarez to back impeachment complaint vs Ombudsman
MANILA, Philippines – Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said on Wednesday, May 10, that he is inclined to support the looming impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.
Suarez cited Morales' alleged "selective justice" in favoring the impeachment bid.
"'Yung kay Ombudsman, 'pag may nag-file na isang member….kasi magmi-meeting kami sa Monday, I will endorse, I will support 'pag may nag-endorse na member," said Suarez in a press conference on Wednesday, May 10.
(On the Ombudsman's case, if any member files…because we will have a meeting on Monday, I will endorse, I will support if one of the members endorses it.)
Asked why he will give a thumbs up to the ouster of Morales, Suarez said: "Selective justice. Kitang-kita ang abuso in the last 6 years up to now (You can see the abuses in the last 6 years up to now)."
He reiterated, however, that this is his personal stand and he has yet to read the impeachment complaint drafted by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC). (READ: VACC to file impeachment complaint vs Ombudsman when Alvarez returns)
Suarez has also yet to meet with other lawmakers in the 18-member minority bloc to discuss their stand.
The VACC has long eyed an impeachment complaint against Morales for the delay in resolving cases, particularly the homicide complaint they filed against former president Benigno Aquino III over the botched police operations in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in 2015.
The 1987 Constitution allows any Filipino citizen to initiate an impeachment complaint against a public official, but it has to be endorsed by a member of the House. (READ: FAST FACTS: How does impeachment work?)
While Suarez said the minority will be voting as a bloc regarding the pending impeachment complaints against Morales, President Rodrigo Duterte, and Vice President Leni Robredo, at least two minority lawmakers said they were satisfied with the Ombudsman's performance.
Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Representative Lito Atienza said he disagrees with Suarez's view on Morales.
"That's a very touchy question because I am very impressed with the record of the Ombudsman. And I disagree with my Minority Leader. The minority exercises democracy. We will vote on our own on issues like this….And I believe the Ombudsman has done a good job," said Atienza.
ACTS-OFW Representative John Bertiz shared the same sentiment.
"Actually I don't have a copy of the impeachment. 'Di ko pa rin nabasa (I haven't read it). Basically, doon sa performance naman (based on the performance), the Ombudsman is doing its job," said Bertiz.
But he said that if he finishes reading the complaint and finds reason to support it on behalf of overseas Filipino workers, he would support the impeachment of Morales as well.
As of posting, only the impeachment complaint against Duterte has been officially filed at the House. Suarez said his bloc already decided not to support it given the President's high popularity and trust ratings.
There are still no endorsers for the VACC's complaint against Morales and the two impeachment complaints drafted against Robredo.