Impeach bid vs Ombudsman moving

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — HOUSE Speaker Prospero Nograles said he will transmit the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to the plenary today.

The House of Representatives has extended its session until Friday in order to complete the unfinished business of passing vital measures like the “companion bill” for the automation election.

Earlier, civil society groups and former Senate President Jovito Salonga filed a complaint against Gutierrez for her alleged inaction on graft and corruption cases involving high ranking officials especially those close to Malacañang.

Despite the appeal of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo to solons to leave Gutierrez alone, Nograles has no choice but to implement his “ministerial job” of transmitting the complaint to the plenary.

Under the rules, the Speaker has 10 session days to transmit the impeachment complaint to the plenary and the Committee on Rules has three session days to refer it to the Committee on Justice for deliberation.

“We will transmit it tomorrow at the latest,” Nograles said yesterday.

Majority Leader Arthur Defensor said in a media forum Ayes and Nays, that it will be up to the Committee on Justice to decide the fate of Gutierrez.

Defensor explained that the House leadership’s duty is only to refer any impeachment complaint filed and it will be the members of the justice committee that will discuss the merits of the case.

“Let’s leave it to the wisdom of the lawmakers,” he said.

Malacañang meanwhile branded as a “nuisance” the personalities behind the impeachment complaint against Ombdusman Merceditas Guiterrez.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez said the initiators of the impeachment complaint were the same group behind the complaint filed against President Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Parang iisa lang yata ang motibo ng grupo na ito. They are just nuisance to the works of every institution which actually at the end of the day, ilang beses nang nabasura ang impeachment laban sa ating Pangulo dahil wala silang maipakitang ebidensya,” Golez told a radio interview.