Gutierrez deputy: My conscience is clean

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2011 10:28 AM | Updated as of Apr 05 2011 10:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Embattled Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III said he will exhaust all legal remedies to counter the decision of the Office of the President (OP) booting him out of office.

“My conscience is clean and I am not guilty of the charges and accusations," he said in a statement.

Malacañang said it followed due process when it decided to remove from office Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez’s deputy in connection with the August 2010 hostage-taking in Manila.

The Office of the President, in a 15-page decision released on March 31, dismissed Gonzalez from service for mishandling the dismissal complaint against hostage-taker and former Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza.

The official action stemmed from the report and findings of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee on the August 23 hostage crisis. Gonzales was among those found liable for the bloody outcome of the hostage crisis, which left 8 Hong Kong tourists dead.

Gonzalez stressed he did not delay resolution of Mendoza’s case. He could prove everything in court, he said.

“Hindi rin po totoo na dinelay ko ang kaso para makahingi ng P150,000 kay Mendoza. Matagal ko na pong hinihiling sa kanila na sabihin nila kung sino ang kausap nila tungkol sa P150,000. Subalit wala po silang masabi,” he said.

Gonzalez said it is true that the OP scheduled a hearing on February 8 to allow him to comment on the matter.

Even before he could comment, Gonzalez said an article already came out in the papers that he is being suspended for one year. “Kaya po ako ay nagfile ng ‘OBJECTION  TO PROCEEDINGS’ at sinabi sa kanila na paano po ako dadalo sa hearing ay mayroon na silang desisyon.”

He said he also got information that he went through a lifestyle check, but nothing was proven that he is asking parties for payment in exchange for favorable decisions.