READ: Official Statement of Congresswoman Gwen Garcia on Ombudsman’s decision to dismiss her from public service

August 14,2018 - 12:59 PM

I have frequently said that former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales was incapable of rendering a fair and just decision against me, owing to her personal closeness to Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr, whose son I am running against in the next elections. This was illustrated by her flip-flopping in the case involving the CICC, where she revived a case long dismissed by the former Ombudsman, decided against me, then on motion for reconsideration by one of the parties, dismissed the case again, but in an unprecedented motion for reconsideration by her own office, found me liable again.

Her denial of my motion for reconsideration in this case, therefore, which was filed by her friend’s son, comes as no surprise.

The intention to sow confusion among the public is evident in how the denial is now being twisted and presented as an alleged bar against my running for Governor next year. This is patently misleading.

In the first place, the decision, while “executory” for certain officials, is not final. It is appealable to the Court of Appeals.

Secondly, the only bar under the election laws is conviction by final judgment of a crime involving moral turpitude or an offense with a penalty of more than one year. No less than the Provincial Election Supervisor, Atty. Lionel Castillano, confirmed this, saying the Ombudsman decision in this administrative case is not a bar to my filing my certificate of candidacy.

Thirdly, I invite the public to search the Constitution, the Ombudsman Law, the Administrative Code, the Civil Service Law or any law for that matter for any provision granting the Ombudsman the authority to impose the penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding pub lic office. Only the courts have the authority to do so in a criminal case where the accessory penalty is warranted.

We will seek recourse with the Court of Appeals and we are confident that we will prevail.

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