Palace: Philippines needs a new Ombudsman


Posted at Mar 02 2011 03:44 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2011 04:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines needs a new Tanodbayan who will help in anti-corruption efforts, Malacañang said on Wednesday even as the House justice committee proceeded with the impeachment hearings against embattled Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

In a press conference, deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Gutierrez should "start weighing her options," which includes resignation, or face the full brunt of the impeachment complaints in the House of Representatives.

She said the country needs a new Ombudsman who will be swift enough to resolve cases filed before the office.

“It will greatly help in the anti-corruption efforts if we will have a new Ombudsman, someone who will really act as the Tanodbayan,” she said.

Valte also said that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III does not need to pressure his allies in Congress to push for the impeachment of Gutierrez.

“The President does not need to rally his allies because the public has spoken. The lawmakers already know that, which is why I think this has come to where it is now because there is a strong clamor for the impeachment," she said.

Members of the House of Representatives Justice committee voted on Tuesday morning that there are sufficient grounds in the 2 impeachment complaints filed against Gutierrez.

Several lawmakers claimed the panel railroaded the proceedings, insisting there is a need for judicial courtesy.

Although the Supreme Court has yet to make a final a decision on Gutierrez's motion for reconsideration, it gave the House justice committee the green light to proceed with hearing the case.