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 Palace on Gutierrez fate: It’s up to House

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PostSubject: Palace on Gutierrez fate: It’s up to House    Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:05 am

MALACAÑANG has tossed to the House of Representatives the fate of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez in the wake of the impeachment complaint filed against her.

Presidential communications operations office secretary Sonny Coloma said the Palace is respecting the process being followed by the House committee on justice as it found Wednesday the impeachment complaints sufficient in form.

“We will allow the process to unfold,” Coloma told a Palace briefing yesterday.

Asked if the latest development is significant in connection with the Aquino’s anti-corruption campaign, Coloma said the process will eventually reveal the true sentiments of our lawmakers on Gutierrez’s case since they represent their respective constituents in connection with Gutierrez’s case.

He also cited the separation of powers, noting that the House is an independent body such that he clarified that Malacañang is not lifting its finger to influence the outcome of the impeachment complaint.

Gutierrez was accused of incompetence and for sitting on cases involving former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband, former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, among others.

It will be recalled that Gutierrez has junked persistent calls for her to quit.

The House panel headed by Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas III tackled the complaints filed by former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros and progressive groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) separately.

Thirty-nine committee members voted for the sufficiency in form of the Hontiveros complaint while only one voted against it.

On the other hand, 31 members voted for sufficiency in form of the progressive groups’ complaint while nine voted against it.

The committee will decide if it will consolidate the complaints only after the determination of the sufficiency in substance.

Efren Montano, Journal Online
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