Bishop also wants Ombudsman to resign

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2011 11:14 AM | Updated as of Mar 04 2011 09:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A Catholic bishop has joined calls urging Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to resign from her post instead of facing the impeachment process.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said it would be good for the country if Gutierrez lets another person take over as Ombudsman.

“She should go down… there’s no point of staying. She is already a hindrance to the government’s fight against corruption because of her performance,” he said in a CBCP News report.

Pabillo said there are pros and cons if the Ombudsman decides to fight the impeachment complaints filed against her in Congress. He said the impeachment process would be costly "but there is accountability which is also good."

Pabillo chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

The prelate has also welcomed the decision of the House Committee on Justice this week in approving the impeachment raps against Gutierrez.

In the event that Gutierrez will have to be replaced, he said the government should appoint someone “credible” to fight corruption.

“...Someone not just because he or she is trusted by the administration but someone trusted by the people,” he said.

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte earlier 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.

Valte also said that President Aquino 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.