Bishop backs ombudsman's removal
Pabillo calls on legislators to resume impeachment proceedings
ucanews.com reporter, Manila
February 17, 2011
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, head of the social action secretariat of the Catholic bishops’ conference, said the Philippine Congress should expedite the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.
Gutierrez has been accused of covering up charges of wrongdoing committed by former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and not prosecuting corrupt officials under the Arroyo government.
The Office of the Ombudsman is a Constitutional body set up to investigate and file charges against erring government officials.
Bishop Pabillo called on legislators this week to resume impeachment proceedings against Gutierrez. The supreme court earlier stopped moves to oust her.
“This is our call to Congress… they should make the (impeachment) process expedient,” Bishop Pabillo said on Church-run Radio Veritas 846.
“We have long been hoping that the ombudsman will be made to answer to the people… and one way to do that is through this impeachment process,” the bishop said.
Among the allegations against Gutierrez is her failure to investigate alleged cheating during the 2004 election.
Bishop Pabillo said resolving the case against Gutierrez will bring back the public’s trust in government.
“It’s supposed to be the government’s arm against corruption. But if we can’t rely on the ombudsman, then the people will continue to doubt the government’s ability to rid the country of corruption,” the bishop said.
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