MANILA – Several lawmakers, including Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (Neg. Or., 1 st District), have expressed support to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales through a resolution filed in the House of Representatives.
At least 26 lawmakers have endorsed House Resolution 1395 urging the House to “support, preserve and protect the constitutional independence and integrity of the Office of the Ombudsman".
Under the resolution, the Ombudsman was described as a constitutional, independent body tasked to “serve as protectors of the people against inept, abusive, and corrupt in government.”
The lawmakers said the anti-graft agency must be shielded from the pressures of “officialdom and partisan politics and from fear of external reprisal.”
“The framers of the Constitution intended that these independent bodies be insulated from political pressure to the extent that the absence of independence would result in the impairment of their core functions,” the resolution read.
“With the power to 'investigate on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient," the resolution said.
Aside from Limkaichong, the lawmakers who signed the resolution are members of Liberal Party, namely Reps. Francis Gerald Abaya of Cavite, Benjie Agarao - Laguna, Vicente Alcala – Quezon, Isagani Amatong - Zamboanga del Norte, Kaka Bag-ao - Dinagat Island, Bolet Banal and Kit Belmonte of Quezon City, Emmanuel Billones - Capiz, Gabriel Bordado - Camarines Sur, Raul Daza – Northern Samar, Raul del Mar – Cebu City; Cheryl Deloso-Montalla – Zambales, Christopher De Venecia - Pangasinan; Edgar Erice – Caloocan, Edcel Lagman – Albay, Miro Quimbo of Marikina, Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato, Rene Relampagos – Bohol, Vilma Santos-Recto of Batangas; and Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento.
Other non-LP signatories include Bukidnon Rep. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, Cavite Rep. Strike Revilla, Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun, and Siquijor Rep. Rav Rocamora.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte challenged Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Ombudsman Morales to resign with him.
Duterte has also expressed his plan to create a commission to investigate anomalies at the Office of the Ombudsman.*PNA
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