Ombudsman Prosecutors Asked Supreme Court to Stop the Dismissal Order

Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzales III
Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzales III

Last Tuesday, prosecutors in the office of the Ombudsman have asked the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of President Noynoy Aquino’s order of dismissing them from government service.

The Office of the President imposes a disciplinary sanction against the prosecutors. Upon the receipt of the petition, high court has questioned the jurisdiction of the said office through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.

The said sanction is in regard with the hostage crisis in Manila in August last year which killed eight Hong King residents and the hostage taker; inspector Rolando Mendoza. Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzales III who was blamed for triggering the hostage taking asked the high court to stop President Aquino and his legal team in implementing the dismissal.

Hostage taker Mendoza blamed Gonzales for the delayed of his case which made him do the said crime and for supposedly asking for 150,000.

In the petition laid by the Gonzales, he stated that under the Article XI of the 1987 Constitution 2 of the Republic Act 6770 or the Ombudsman Act is an independent body.

He also urged the high court to issue a status quo ante to observe first the situation before the decision to dismiss him from the service and added that the high court must declare as unconstitutional Section 8 of the Ombudsman Act.

Under this provision it states that a deputy can only be removed from office by the president for any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman and after the due process.

Gonzales has already been dismissed by the Malacañang last April 1 after he was found guilty of neglect of duty and gross misconduct in the hostage taking incident.

However, the office of the ombudsman did not implement the dismissal of Gonzales due to its independence under the Article XI 1987 Constitution and with section 21 of the republic act no. 6770 or the Ombudsman Act.

Under the Ombudsman Act the Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all appointive officials of the Government except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment, or over members of Congress and the Judiciary.

In a separate petition, Ombudsman Special Prosecutor Wendell Sulit also asked the High court for a restraining order.

She questioned the authority of the Office of the president in dismissing her from the service.

Sulit was accused of mismanaging the plunder case against a former comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, retired major General Carlos Garcia.

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