The Philippines: Duterte questions ombudsman’s stay in office

August 30, 2017

Irked by her “selective justice,” President Duterte said he is reminding Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales of her “very precarious” hold on her position as she is just serving the remaining term of her predecessor who resigned to avoid impeachment proceedings.

“You are supposed to serve the remaining term of the guy who resigned, not to a full term. That is very clear under the law. But it has not been questioned until now. I do not know why,” Duterte said in remarks at the mass oath-taking of 70 newly appointed government officials at Malacañang yesterday.

He was referring to Merceditas Gutierrez who resigned in 2011 before she was to face an impeachment trial. The Chief Executive did not cite a specific law that requires Morales to serve only Gutierrez’s remaining term.

“Everyone calls for ‘due process’ and (dispensing) of justice without fear or favor,” Duterte said.

In his remarks, he also accused Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno of sitting on temporary restraining order (TRO) on two contraceptive implants regulated under the Reproductive Health (RH) Law.

Duterte said some drugs bought by the government had expired without being distributed because the Supreme Court had not  decided yet on the TRO.

“The medicine have been purchased, expecting that it would, you know, be needed by government,” the President said.

“Until now, it’s two years ago, the medicine have expired. Sereno is sitting on it. What’s the problem, ma’am? We spent money, we bought medicine only to expire,” he added.

Duterte said he has no problems with the justices of the Supreme Court but criticized the delays in the issuance of judicial decisions.


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