26 representatives back resolution urging House to support Ombudsman

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MANILA — Several lawmakers have expressed support to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales through a resolution filed in the House of Representatives.

At least 26 lawmakers have endorsed House Resolution 1395 urging the House of Representatives to “support, preserve and protect the constitutional independence and integrity of the Office of the Ombudsman.”

Under the resolution, the Ombudsman was described as a constitutional, independent body tasked to “serve as protectors of the people against inept, abusive, and corrupt in government.”

The lawmakers said the anti-graft agency must be shielded from the pressures of “officialdom and partisan politics and from fear of external reprisal.”

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“The framers of the Constitution intended that these independent bodies be insulated from political pressure to the extent that the absence of independence would result in the impairment of their core functions,” the resolution read.

“With the power to ‘investigate on its own or on a complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient,” the resolution said.

The 21 lawmakers who signed the resolution are members of Liberal Party, namely: Cavite Rep. Francis Gerald Abaya; Laguna Rep. Benjie Agarao; Quezon Rep. Vicente Alcala; Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Isagani Amatong; Dinagat Island Rep. Kaka Bag-ao; Quezon City Rep. Bolet Banal; Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte; Capiz Rep. Emmanuel Billones; Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado; Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza; Cebu City Rep. Raul del Mar; Zambales Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla; Pangasinan Rep. Christopher De Venecia; Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice; Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman; Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong; Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo; Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato; Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos; Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto; and Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento.

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Other non-LP signatories include Bukidnon Rep. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, Cavite Rep. Strike Revilla, Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun and Siquijor Rep. Rav Rocamora.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte challenged Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno and Ombudsman Morales to resign with him.

President Duterte has also expressed his plan to create a commission investigating corruption anomalies at the Office of the Ombudsman. (PNA)

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