Ex-party-list solon asks SC to allow impeachment proceedings vs. Ombudsman

September 28, 2010 10:55 am 

MANILA, Sept. 27 – Former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel and three others on Monday filed their comment before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking for the respect to the independence of Congress and allow the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

In their comment, Baraquel said that it is important that the High Court respect the independence and authority of the House of Representatives in order to determine the validity of the impeachment complaints against Ombudsman Gutierrez.

"This Honorable Court is not the proper venue for deliberating upon and deciding whether the complaints filed against Petitioner Gutierrez contain charges that constitute sufficient grounds for impeachment under the Constitution," Baraquel said.

Earlier, in a resolution the SC issued a "status quo ante order" against the House of Representatives Committee on Justice chaired by Iloilo City Rep. Niel Tupaz, Jr. that effectively stopped the impeachment proceedings against the embattled Ombudsman.

On the other hand, SC Spokesman and Court Administrator Atty. Jose Midas Marquez said that the SC did not issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) despite the petition filed by the Ombudsman against the House Justice Committee in the sense that a TRO is only being issued when a matter sought to be restrained has not yet occurred.

Other respondents to the case are former Army Scout Ranger Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, Felipe Pestano, Evelyn Pestano, Renato Reyes, Jr., secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan; Danilo Ramos, secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP); Atty. Edre Olalia, acting secretary general of the National Union of People's Lawyers; Ferdinand Gaite, chairman of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE); and James Terry Ridon, of the League of Filipino Students (LFS).

Dissenting in the SC resolution were Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Conchita Carpio-Morales and Maria Lourdes Sereno. (PNA) RMA/PTR

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