MANILA – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Friday said she is ready to face the disbarment complaint filed against her.
Former Manila City councilor Greco Belgica accused Morales of violating the Lawyer's Oath and the Canon of Professional Responsibility when she approved earlier this month a resolution absolving former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III of charges for technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers, and graft in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) case.
Morales said she has yet to read the complaint, but she is ready to face it.
"Anyway, everyone is at liberty to file a complaint. Being charged is part of the territory,” she said.
"I am ready to meet head-on any complaint, anytime, anywhere. Wish them luck."
Morales was also accused of violating Rule 6.01 of the Canon of Professional Responsibility when she "failed to perform her duty to see that justice is done."
The complaint also claimed Morales violated Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 of the same code for her alleged failure to "uphold the integrity and dignity" of the legal profession in clearing Aquino of the charge of usurpation of legislative powers.
While clearing Aquino, Morales indicted Abad for usurpation of legislative powers for unlawfully issuing the National Budget Circular No. 541 that was used to carry out the DAP.
Ombudsman argued that the technical malversation and graft complaints were dismissed because "they cannot be indicted for technical malversation since they did not "apply" public funds to other purposes."
The DAP was challenged before the high court by several petitioners, one of whom was Belgica, with the magistrates striking down as unconstitutional in 2014 several of its provisions such as the pooling of public funds even before the end of the fiscal year, using savings to aid offices outside the executive branch and Office of the President, and funding projects not found in the General Appropriations Act.
– reports from Carolyn Bonquin and Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News