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Ombudsman: Case vs Rody can be refiled

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said the door remains open for the “refiling of complaints” even as her own office closed and terminated the plunder case filed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV against President Rodrigo Duterte, a development which was brought to light only after Solicitor General Jose Calida inquired on it.

In a statement, Morales said the field investigation conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman on the complaints filed against Mr. Duterte was indeed closed and terminated on November 29, 2017 “after the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) declined to provide a report or confirmation on the requested vital data.”
The Ombudsman’s probe involved the complaint of Trillanes regarding the alleged 11,000 ghost employees in Davao City when Mr. Duterte was its mayor which Trillanes then connected to another accusation that Mr. Duterte and members of his family have unexplained wealth.

Morales, however, cited the Ombudsman office’s rule that “[a] closed and terminated field investigation is without prejudice to the refiling of a complaint with new or additional evidence.”
Morales claimed that she too was not privy to the development of the case, saying that the termination of the case came to her knowledge as a result of the press briefing of Calida that he has been informed of the closure and termination of the investigation.
Calida cited a February 12, 2018 response to his letter-inquiry dated February 8, 2018 addressed to Overall Deputy Ombudsman (ODO) Melchor Arthur Carandang as source of the information on the case against Mr. Duterte.
Morales said Calida raised certain questions which may be answered “by his own declarations.”
“Calida asked why the Ombudsman kept quiet about the matter. Oddly, he himself pointed out that the Ombudsman had inhibited herself from the investigation,” Morales said.
Morales maintained the investigation was given free rein and proceeded without her intervention.
In a Feb. 13 media briefing, Calida questioned the decision of Morales to withhold from the public the status of the case.
“A public officer must be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, and efficiency,” Calida said.
“Ombudsman Carpio-Morales, being the Ombudsman, must be the protector of the people. She has the constitutional duty to publicize matters covered by investigations when the circumstances so warrant and with due prudence,” he added.
“This case involves the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Why are you withholding this information? When this case was filed, a press conference was even conducted. Three months after the termination of the case, the public has still no knowledge that the evidence supporting the allegations of Trillanes is without merit,” Calida said.
Morales, however, said she learned about the closure and termination of the case only on January 29, 2018 “upon an inquiry on the status thereof after learning that ODO Carandang was formally charged and placed under preventive suspension by the Office of the President.”
Morales said she trusts that in the conduct of fact-finding investigations on the case against Mr. Duterte, efforts were exhausted to gather evidence and to comply with pertinent internal rules.
Confidential probe
It said fact-finding investigations, under the rules, are generally confidential in nature and the Office of the Ombudsman is not obliged to inform “the subject of the fact-finding investigation” about its outcome.
Further, the Ombudsman said the confidentiality of proceedings was, in fact, recognized by the Solicitor General when he cited the exception that the Ombudsman has the power to publicize certain matters (e.g., whether or not to act upon an inquiry “out of curiosity” or media requests for case status out of journalistic duty).
The Ombudsman could not have considered exercising such discretionary power relative to the complaints against the President due to her inhibition, Morales said.
“Finally, the Office observes that the Solicitor General effectively recognized Carandang as the Overall Deputy Ombudsman through his official letter-inquiry dated 8 February 2018 addressed to ODO Carandang who, at such date, had been supposedly under preventive suspension,” she said.
“The Office sees this as a recognition of the uncons-titutionality of the preventive suspension order,” Morales added.
“(Calida) asked why the Ombudsman kept quiet about the matter. Oddly, he himself pointed out that the Ombudsman had inhibited herself from the investigation,” she said.
Morales said the Solicitor General might want to consider whether it is proper for an official who inhibited from an investigation to remain involved therein.
“The Ombudsman posits that it is not. In keeping therewith, the investigation was given free rein and proceeded without her intervention,” Morales added.
Why the sudden silence — Roque
When the Office of the Ombudsman announced that it wants to probe President Duterte and his family’s alleged hidden wealth, they made too much hype. Now that it was junked, why the sudden silence?, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque posed the question to Morales.
Roque said the Ombudsman’s nearly silent media handling of the terminated case gave Trillanes the excuse to keep on using his allegations to damage the Duterte family’s reputation.
“The Palace feels bad about it. The investigation was already terminated because of lack of evidence, why was it not made public?” Roque said.
“It’s as if now that the investigation is in the trash bin, why not announce it to end Senator Trillanes’ persistence?” he added.
“The Ombudsman should have announced that it was terminated due to lack of evidence so that controversy on Duterte’s alleged ill-gotten wealth would be put to an end,” he added.
Roque said that since the Ombudsman, who would be the last person the President would call his friend, junked the case, it should be laid to rest.
“Even the Ombudsman, who we know is the last person the President would call his friend junked the investigation on ill-gotten wealth,” Roque said. ‘
Roque said that now that the Ombudsman junked the pluder case, Trillanes and other critics of Duterte should find other issues to be concerned about.
“Now that it’s out, it’s clear to the entire Philippines, that the Ombudsman junked the investigation,” Roque said.
“Let’s leave that issue and find a new issue to be concerned about,” he added.
Asked if Carandang’s 30-day suspension order affected the junking of Duterte’s plunder case, Roque said that he would leave Carandang to answer the question.


  • MarioBC

    Ano ka ba Ombudsman! Pinaparinggan mo ba si Trillanes? Dilawan move talaga!

    MarioBC Friday, 16 February 2018 17:22 Comment Link
  • jlp

    Unfit for the huge responsibility.

    Unfit for plain lie, for being partisan.

    What is the use of a smeared, dirty, nonperforming, untrustworthy institution? why waste fund on it? Shut it down!

    jlp Friday, 16 February 2018 14:15 Comment Link
  • Jose

    viagra online order
    viagra without prescription
    viagra buy sri lanka

    Jose Friday, 16 February 2018 08:52 Comment Link
  • The Eye

    Ano? Double jeopardy? Ombudsman-lawyer ba ito? Niloloko mo ba ang bayan? O, gusto mo lang magsalita ng matamis para sa mga sa DILAWAN?

    The Eye Friday, 16 February 2018 07:28 Comment Link
  • Rico

    Bold face simple as that...this old hag should be retire ...put to home for the aged..or join Leila

    Rico Friday, 16 February 2018 05:53 Comment Link
  • Peter

    Palusot ng isang matandang ulianin at kasapakat ng isang
    ganid na senador para maagaw ang malakanyang

    Peter Friday, 16 February 2018 03:56 Comment Link
  • inocent

    Conchita's hand was caught inside the cookie jar to be seen by all but she just lie, as if she did nothing. Conchita-Carpio Morales is treating the public like we are fools who do not understand what she is doing. She and Carandang made fools of us but worse of all both made the Senate as fools believing that they can always get away with it because they are more powerful than the President of the Philippines. THE MORE REASON THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD ABOLISH THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN FOR PLAYING POLITICS. The Constitution must be changed to that effect and include the CHR.

    inocent Friday, 16 February 2018 03:43 Comment Link
  • sde

    So the head doesn't know what is going on in her office?

    Like Aquino's excuse, as innocent as an angel.

    Either grossly incompetent, or sleeping on the job, or
    more sinister.

    But whatever the excuse, while accusing AMLC of hiding information, Morales was the one who hid information, to support trlllanes destabilization campaign - the most outrageous excuses and lies in support of power grabbers, that's treason.

    Kapal talaga.

    sde Thursday, 15 February 2018 23:45 Comment Link
  • INO


    INO Thursday, 15 February 2018 23:17 Comment Link

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