Alvarez won't implement dismissal vs Garcia

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2018 07:04 PM

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will not implement the Ombudsman’s suspension of Cebu Representative Gwen Garcia. 

Alvarez maintained he has no such power under the Constitution.

"My appropriate action is not to implement the order. Why? Because there is nothing in the Constitution that allows me to do that. In fact, it is not within the power of the Ombudsman to discipline, much more to remove, any member of the House of Representatives," he said.

"'Pag ginawa ko 'yan, I will be violating the Constitution since merong nakalagay sa Constitution na kami lang 'yung may kapangyarihan to discipline and remove a member of the House of Representatives," he added.

Under the Constitution, any member of the House of Representative may only be expelled by a 2/3 vote of the chamber.

Alvarez maintained there is no legal basis to implement the dismissal order. 

"Yes, definitely, kasi wala akong makita sa Constitution. Kanina ko pa binabasa, wala akong makitang ano na provision na nagsasabi pwede gawin 'yun," he said.

The dismissal stems from a case filed against Garcia when she was Cebu governor. For Alvarez, this order came too late. 

"Hindi, kasi 'yung dismissal order na 'yan, ang treatment ko diyan, dismissal as a governor, not as a congressman. Late 'yung decision. Late yung order, dapat noon pa nilabas 'yan nung siya ay gubernador pa lang," he said.

Garcia had claimed this was connected to her active role in the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. 

Asked what may be the reason for the Ombudsman to issue the order, Alvarez said, "Itanong mo sa kanila 'yun, 'wag mo itanong sa akin kasi 'di ko problema kung nag-issue sila ng order na 'yun na walang legal basis. Problema nila 'yun, 'di ko problema 'yan 'di ba?"

Asked if the matter will be taken up in plenary, Alvarez said: "Of course not. Bakit natin 'pag aabalahan natin 'yung walang legal basis."