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SC asked to oust lady Ombudsman

BY: Rey G. Panaligan

The Supreme Court has been asked to dislodge Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales from her post because her term of office had allegedly expired on Nov. 30, 2012.

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In a petition, former Metro Rail Transit Line 3 General Manager Al Vitangcol III said that Morales was appointed in 2011 to merely serve the unexpired portion of the seven-year term of then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez who resigned on May 6, 2011 to avoid impeachment.

With her resignation, Vitangcol claimed that Gutierrez’s term of seven years that was filled up by Morales expired on Nov. 30, 2012.

He told the SC the intent of the law was for the successor of Gutierrez to serve the remainder of her term only, not for a full term of seven years.

“Thus, Morales is usurping her office,” Vitangcol said.

With his petition, Vitangcol asked the SC to declare all orders, decisions, and resolutions “rendered personally” by Morales from Dec. 1, 2012 null and void.

“Affected cases should be remanded to the Deputy Ombudsman for proper disposition, pending the appointment of a new Ombudsman,” he said.

Vitangcol has been charged before the Sandiganbayan with attempt to extort $30 million from a Czech light rail vehicles supplier and irregularities in the transit system’s interim maintenance contract during his stint as MRT chief.

It was not known immediately if Vitangcol’s petition would be taken up in today’s full court session of the SC.

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Written by Tempo Online

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