Minority Leader Danilo Suarez on Wednesday questioned the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly not filing a case against members of the Liberty Party over the past years.
During the plenary consideration for the Ombudsman’s P2.5-billion proposed budget for 2018, Suarez quizzed its sponsor, Oriental Mindoro Representative Salvador Leachon, on why the anti-graft office have seemingly turning a blind eye on LP officials who commit crimes.
Suarez listed down senators and congressmen who were charged over their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, but pointed out that only one of them was from the Liberal Party.
“Wala bang kasalanang ginawa for the last six years ang mga Liberal?” Suarez said.
Leachon, however, said the Office of the Ombudsman does not consider the party in which a government official is a part of in filing cases.
It can be recalled that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales is an appointee of former President Benigno Aquino III, who is from the Liberal Party.
“(The) Ombudsman would not look for any party involved. Under the law regardless of the position power, regardless of the memory you have imprinted on the minds of Filipinos, regardless of family affiliations, anything, when there is violation, corresponding charge, you will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” Leachon said.
“Upon finding of probable cause, the case will be disposed and it is upon the Sandiganbayan to issue a warrant of arrest. That is the mandate of procedure,” he added.
But Suarez insisted that only one member of the Liberal Party was charged over the past years, all others were “enemies” of the previous administration.
“Bakit walang fina-file na kaso yung mga dating nakaupo ng nakaraang anim na taon? Alam namin na ang mga finile… marami pa nga plunder e,” he said.
Leachon said Suarez’s comments will be noted and the cases within the office’s jurisdiction would be resolved.
Suarez explained that he asked the question to assure Morales will not look at political parties in filing cases.
“Maaari bang bigyan lang ako ng assurance ng Ombudsman na bago siya umalis sa kanyang opisina na mabigyan naman ng justice ang aming sinasabi na alisin na natin ang political color, gawin ang dapat gawin na yung mga may sala na may allegation ng criminal act, ay mai-file,” he said.
In response, Leachon said, “We are definitely assured that they will dispose the cases without biases, without prejudice or referring to party affiliation. Rest assured that the cases will be resolved the soonest time possible before she retires.”
Morales will end her term as Ombudsman in mid-2018 after serving for seven years. — BAP, GMA News