deputy ombudsman dismissed

Senators side with Aquino on firing of Deputy Ombudsman

Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III was fired by the President for his inaction during the August 2010 hostage taking, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer is reporting that the Office of the Ombudsman is defying that order by the Office of the President.  The Senate President and the Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr., Chair of the House committee on Justice likewise agreed with the position of the President.

The Inquirer article goes,

“While the Ombudsman is a constitutional body independent of the executive department, Mr. Aquino exercises supervision and control of this office and its employees, the Senate president said.

“They have to study their position … He has the power to hire and fire; the power to appoint and remove except when the Constitution establishes a different norm of removal, in which case the manner of removal must be followed,” Enrile said.

Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., chair of the House committee on justice, also said Gutierrez had no choice but to follow the President’s decision.

Under the Ombudsman Act, the President has disciplinary authority over the deputies and the special prosecutor, Tupas said.”

Exactly.  The administration is applying pressure on the Ombudsman.  This is the just next in a series of offensives, and will go on until the Ombudsman quits, or is removed from office.