"My conscience is clear," says Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, will continue working despite House impeachment
GMA News report: The House of Representatives impeached the ombudsman early Tuesday morning after almost seven hours of plenary discussion.
Despite being impeached by the House of Representatives with a 212-46-4 vote yesterday, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez said she will continue working, reports Inquirer.net. "There is no law requiring me to go on leave... This (impeachment) will not be a hindrance in discharging my duties." She added, "My conscience is clear. I have done nothing wrong. I have done my job."
The House impeached Gutierrez for alleged betrayal of public trust due to her office’s low conviction rates and her supposed inaction on five cases, reports GMA News Online. Two hundred twelve legislators voted for her impeachment, 46 voted against it and four abstained.
PhilStar.com quoted Gutierrez: "What transpired... is lamentable but expected... From the start, I received no fair treatment from the House Justice Committee, more so from its chairman, (Iloilo) Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., whose father is facing a graft charge filed by my office with the Sandiganbayan. He himself is being investigated for some allegations of corruption."
One of Gutierrez’ lawyers who will defend her in the Senate impeachment trial, Anacleto Diaz said they were not surprised by the vote results. "What was surprising was the gall of the sponsors of the impeachment resolution in distorting and misrepresenting supposed evidence which did not exist or prove their charges against Ombudsman Gutierrez," PhilStar.com quoted him as saying. "They cannot repeat this at the Senate trial. There, we will expose the falsity of their charges and the innocence of Mrs. Gutierrez."
Gutierrez’ case will be transmitted to the Senate, which will convene as an impeachment court. She said the Senate will be "intrepid, impartial and independent," reports Inquirer.net. According to GMA News Online, "A two-thirds vote of all senators-in this case 16 out of the 23 senators-is needed to convict the ombudsman."
For more on Gutierrez’ impeachment and the past impeachment cases against her, check out the downloadable infographic by 27+20 Design Boutique that was posted on Monday.
27+20 says the facts and figures on the infographic are based from online sources such as GMA News Online, ABS-CBN News and Newsbreak. The "information on this infographic (is) not final as new information is still being processed."