Selective justice and the Ombudsman are one
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - October 2, 2017 - 4:00pm

As I wrote earlier upon my arrival last week from my European vacation, I was aghast to learn that 26 members of the House committee on justice did the greatest injustice to the Filipino people when they voted (in a vote of 26 to 2) to junk the impeachment complaint filed against Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista. Many people here really believe that there must have been some kind of quid pro quo with these unscrupulous Congressmen and the Comelec Chairman who after all can wreak havoc to their respective political positions.

No doubt that the Filipino people had no inkling about the alleged corruption of Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista until his estranged wife Patricia literally spilled the beans against her husband. Gads, we didn’t even know that Bautista’s marriage was in the rocks, nor did we even know the name of his wife! But all this is literally down the drain and we’ll just have to wait another year until another impeachment case is filed against Bautista.

Meanwhile, the biggest breaking news happening in our nation today was when Pres. Rodrigo Duterte said he would not cooperate with the Office of the Ombudsman’s investigation into allegations he acquired ill-gotten wealth, vowing he would “not submit” to its authority and offered Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to resign together with him. Now this is a dare that could cause a serious political repercussions this country has never seen! If you ask me, Pres. Duterte should have included the name of the Comelec Chairman in his dare for the Ombudsman and the Chief Justice also to resign with him.

But then the Comelec Chairman, the Ombudsman and the Chief Justice are all Aquino appointees and we know too well that people allied to former president Aquino do not know what delicadeza or what resignation means. Just when the Philippine economy has improved tremendously, our still very sick political system could bring the whole thing down!

Surely you must have noticed that the issue of extra-judicial killings (EJK), which the human rights establishment was so vocal against this, has not dented the robust Philippine economy. But I warn you that a political upheaval of this magnitude would send our economy spiraling back to our past where the Philippines was known as the Sick Man of Asia!

In the case of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, we have already written in the past few months that she ought to resign or be impeached because of selective justice. All that Pres. Duterte’s investigators need to do is to look into the case of Janet Lim Napoles (JLN) and the number of Congressmen and Senators accused of using or misusing their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and there you will see the reality of her selective justice.

If you recall, it was on Nov. 18, 2013 when the Supreme Court (SC) in a 14-0 vote declared the PDAF and DAP as unconstitutional and when the SC was pressed by complainant Atty. Greco Belgica, the SC suggested that effort must be made to file the cases against those involved in the PDAF or DAP scam. So this responsibility really falls on the shoulders of the Ombudsman, which has now taken all four years to file criminal cases against those Congressmen and Senators involved in this criminality. Yet how many of these Legislative crooks has the Ombudsman hauled to our courts? You can count them by your fingers!

Perhaps the problem here lies also upon the shoulders of Pres. Duterte who apparently did not listen to pundits like me to impeach the Ombudsman when it was the right or the proper thing to do. Now an impeachment against her would be suspect that he is doing it to save his family from embarrassment. But I fully agree with the President that the Office of the Ombudsman used data against the President and his family that were based on lies and baseless information and the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s statement denying that they provided the Ombudsman with the bank records of the President only proves that the evidence against the President has no official basis.

Duterte last week said he would create a commission to investigate corruption in the Ombudsman, in a move an opposition congressman called an act of vindictiveness. While I do not believe that Pres. Duterte is a vindictive person, however I do agree that this move is a bit too late and can easily be misconstrued as an act of vindictiveness. If you ask me, Pres. Duterte’s only option is to have the Ombudsman impeached because as we all know impeachment is a political move and that is something Pres. Duterte can do with uncanny dispatch, unless he no longer has any allies in the Legislative branch of the government!

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