OSG says impeachment case vs. Ombudsman should continue

October 13, 2010 7:16 am 

MANILA, Oct. 12 — The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on Tuesday said that the impeachment case against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez should continue.

The OSG is the legal counsel of the House of Representatives Committee on Justice on the petition filed by Ombudsman Gutierrez before the Supreme Court (SC) questioning the impeachment proceedings against her.

At the second day of the oral arguments on the impeachment case against the Ombudsman, Assistant Solicitor General Tomas Laragan said that the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Gutierrez before the House Justice Committee must and should continue.

Laragan said that the declaration made by the House Justice Committee that the impeachment complaint against the Ombudsman was sufficient in form and substance did not bring about damage or injury to the person of Gutierrez.

Laragan said that the only effect of the House Justice Committee ruling was that Gutierrez was given the opportunity to refute the allegations against her.

He cited that the SC ruled in a case in 2003 saying that the impeachment complaint filed by Atty. Oliver Lozano against the then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is still "premature" to be resolved by the Court.

However, Laragan was not able to properly argue on whether or not the lack of publication of the impeachment case against Gutierrez violated the Constitutional rights of the Ombudsman.

The oral arguments centered on the legality of the filing of two impeachment complaints against an impeachable government official within a period of one year. (PNA) LOR/PTR

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