Time to resign, Villa-Ignacio urges Ombudsman

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 01 2011 05:35 PM | Updated as of Mar 02 2011 01:35 AM

Former Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio on Tuesday urged her former boss, Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez, to resign or face impeachment proceedings in Congress.

In an interview, Villa-Ignacio said a drawn-out Senate trial would adversely affect the functions of the Office of the Ombudsman and Congress.
 
“Mas maganda para sa lahat kung magre-resign na lang. She should heed the call of various sectors including the business community, the academe and religious groups. It would also allow congressmen and senators to concentrate on their primary duty, which is legislation and spare the country from another divisive exercise,” he said.

Former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, one of the complainants against the Ombudsman, said she and other witnesses are raring to present their affidavits and other documentary evidence.
 
She said she is ready to submit to cross-examination by members of the justice panel.
 
“This is a historic moment as this marks the first time that an impeachment process got to this point in the Lower House. This reinforces the administration’s efforts to promote accountability of public officials,” Baraquel said.
 
The House of Representatives Justice Committee on Tuesday voted there are sufficient grounds in the 2 impeachment complaints filed against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez before the Lower House.

A total of 41 lawmakers agreed with the motion finding sufficiency of grounds in the first impeachment complaint filed by former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros against Gutierrez. Twelve lawmakers dissented.

On the second complaint, a total of 42 justice committee members said there were sufficient grounds for impeachment while 12 dissented.