May 5, 2009

Press Release
March 4, 2009





Independent senator and judicial reforms advocate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan wants to share this time-tested adage to First Gentleman Mike Arroyo: Less talk, less mistakes.


“FG’s unusual interest shown by his coming out in defense of the Ombudsman is very disturbing,” Kiko said.


The First Gentleman earlier came out to defend Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who is now under fire for an impeachment rap filed against her by former Senate President Jovito Salonga and around 30 other former cabinet officials and civil society leaders.


According to the FG, the Liberal Party, of whom Salonga is Chairman Emeritus, is evidently seeking revenge against Gutierrez.


The Ombudsman ordered last week the filing of graft charges against former Bukidnon representative and LP vice chairman Nereus Acosta for purportedly defrauding the government of P10.5 million in public funds.


Arroyo and Gutierrez belonged to the same batch at the Ateneo Law School.


“He is only making matters worse for Mercy,” Kiko said.


The impeachment complaint against Gutierrez cited, among others, the Ombudsman’s “inaction, mishandling, or downright dismissal of clear cases of graft and corruption, some leading to the President herself or that of her closest associates.”


“If, as FG claims, he has no involvement whatsoever in the corruption cases pending before the Ombudsman, why then is he so interested to absolve the Ombudsman of wrongdoing? Why go out of his way to publicly support her?”


Kiko reiterated that FG’s actions only reinforced the view that Malacañang and the Ombudsman are teaming up to hide the truth from the public.

 Kiko questioned, “Is he doing it out of gratitude for a job well done in protecting his interests? Instead of helping her, FG has just created more problems for her.”