Alvarez stands pat on refusal to implement Garcia dismissal order

Rg Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2018 05:53 PM

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia. Composite/File photos

MANILA - House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday stood pat on his refusal to implement the dismissal order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman against Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia.

The Ombudsman on Monday said it has ordered Garcia’s dismissal for grave misconduct over her alleged approval of the purchase of the P98.9-million Balili property in Naga City in 2008, when she was still Cebu governor. Much of the property was later found to be underwater.

Speaking to reporters, Alvarez insisted that nothing in the Constitution empowers him to sack Garcia and that the issue is not up for plenary deliberation.

"Hindi naman pagbobotohan namin... In the first place, wala kami dapat pagbotohan doon," he said.

"Tulungan niyo ako maghanap ng provision sa ating Saligang Batas na nagsasabi na ang Ombudsman may karapatan para i-suspinde o tanggalin ang miyembro ng House of Representatives o ng Senado," he added.

The 1987 Constitution provides that any member of the House of Representatives may only be expelled by a 2/3 vote of the chamber.