Deputy Ombudsman resigns


Posted at Apr 08 2011 05:57 PM | Updated as of Apr 09 2011 07:24 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - A deputy Ombudsman has resigned after complaints were filed against him with the Office of the President.

Assistant Ombudsman Jose de Jesus told ABS-CBN News that Mark Jalandoni has resigned as Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.

"The charges leveled against me are baseless. However, in order to spare the Office of the Ombudsman from further controversy, I have tendered my irrevocable resignation," Jalandoni said in a statement.

On Thursday, Malacañang said complaints had been filed against Jalandoni with the Office of the President.

"We can confirm that there were 3 complaints filed today (April 7) against Deputy Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte had said in a text message.

"We haven't seen the complaint. We just confirmed from DESLA (Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs) Giron that the complaints have been filed," Valte said.

Complaint vs Jalandoni

An anti-corruption advocacy group, Serve the People Movement Incorporated, filed a complaint against Jalandoni for "dishonesty, grave misconduct, falsification of documents."

The group said these "constitute betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution in line with his [Jalandoni] move to approve or disapprove decisions made by other deputies who are his co-equal."

Atty. Mauro Reyes, legal counsel of the group, said only Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez had the authority to review and approve or disapprove decisions of other deputies, and that these could not be delegated to a deputy.

"Kung hindi ang Ombudsman dapat yun over-all deputy Ombudsman ang pipirma and it is only if the over-all deputy is incapacitated that's the only time any of the deputies can act, but he must be designated by the Office of the President. Sa kaso ng mga kliyente ko, si Jalandoni yun pumirma and the authority galing sa isang memorandum pero walang reference number at hindi rin attached sa complaint,this is illegal," Reyes said.

Reyes added that "if Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzales III can be dismissed from public service due to the delay in the resolution of a motion for reconsideration by hostage-taker Rolando Mendoza, which took the agency 9 months, in the case of the complaint filed by the group, it allegedly took the Office of the Ombudsman 4 years to act on the complaint."

Deputy fired, Ombudsman impeached

Last week, the Office of the President (OP) fired deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III over the case of slain police officer Rolando Mendoza, the hostage-taker in the August 23, 2010 Manila hostage incident.

Gonzalez was cited for alleged gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct in handling the dismissal-complaint against Mendoza.

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, on the other hand, will undergo an impeachment trial starting next month.