House junks impeachment complaint against ombudsman

By a vote of absolute majority, the House of Representatives committee on justice junked the complaint against Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez on September 29, reports

The complaint lacked substance, said committee chair and Quezon City Rep. Matias Defensor.

"[The allegations in the complaint] are bare conclusions of facts and law, and innuendos which border on editorializing," said Baguio City Rep. Mauricio Domogan.

The committee is composed mostly of administration congressmen. Formal results were not released; absolute majority meant more than half of the committee's 55 regular members voted to dismiss the complaint. 37 voted to dismiss the complaint, according to Deputy Speaker Amelita Villarosa.

"In their rush to dismiss the complaint against the Ombudsman, taking advantage of the public's attention [on] the relief operations for Ondoy victims, they forgot to count the minority's votes," Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño said in Filipino.

Former Senate President Jovito Salonga and 30 civil society leaders filed the complaint in March, charging Gutierrez with betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution in relation to the corruption case against Benjamin Abalos Sr. and the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, among others. Gutierrez denied all allegations.

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