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    Friday, June 30, 2017

    LOOK: SC urged to declare all top positions at Office of the Ombudsman vacant

    “All top positions at the Office of the Ombudsman must be declared vacant.”

    The said report followed shortly after a lawyer plead before the Supreme Court, urging the highest court to oust officials of the Ombudsman holding high positions including Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.

    These high officials who have “overstayed” their terms which, as provided by the Section 11, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, is disallowable.

    With Atty. Rey Nathaniel Ifurung as the main petitioner, he urged the SC to “declare unconstitutional Section 8 (3) of Republic Act No. 6770 (also known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989” given that it is in contrary to the abovementioned provision in the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

    “The assailed provision in the Ombudsman Act provides that newly appointed Ombudsman, who replaces a predecessor who fails to complete his or her full seven-year term…must serve a full term. While the invoked Section 11, Article XI of the Constitution states that the Ombudsman and his Deputies shall serve for a term of seven years without reappointment”.

    Ifurung, in defense of his claim, also acknowledged another provision in the Constitution which states that the “appointment to any vacancy at the CSC, Comelec, and CoA shall only be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor”.

    With that, the petitioner asserted, that “the Ombudsman and his or her deputies, if appointed to fill a vacancy, should only serve the unexpired terms of its predecessor”.

    It can be recalled that Carpio-Morales replaced the resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez who assumed office last February 2, 2008 and resigned on May 6, 2011. Following the constitutional argument, Carpio-Morales’ position as the Ombudsman should have expired last February 1, 2015.

    “The recurrence of this cycle of non-compliance and non-observance of the intent of the framers and the explicit provision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution is a n outright affront to the fundamental law of the land and, if remains unchecked, will create a cycle of non-compliance and non-observation of the Constitution,” Ifurung wrote in his petition.

    Claiming that the “overstaying” of Carpio-Morales and her Deputies in their respective positions is a “constitutional violation”, Ifurung stressed in his petition that:

    “There is no reason why the same rule as to the unexpired term shall not apply to the Ombudsman…the Ombudsman cannot be a exception to the rule set by the 1987 Constitution.” 

    Source: ABS-CBN News
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