Ombudsman assured of fair impeachment trial in Senate

March 7, 2011

Maila Ager
Inquirer.net
March 7, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – Despite his resignation call, Senator Francis Pangilinan assured Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez that she would get a fair trial when the impeachment case against her reaches the Senate.

“Of course she [Gutierrez] will get a fair trial,” Pangilinan told reporters on Monday. “The Senate is 24 kingdoms ika nga [so to speak], yeah she can be assured that she will get a fair hearing here in the Senate.”

“But she must understand that impartiality and neutrality are strictly required in a judicial proceeding but that’s not a case in a political proceeding,” he further said.

He reiterated his call for the Ombudsman to just step down from office to spare the office from further damage.

“But that of course is personal to her. We can’t force her to [resign]. Dahil ang net effect nito, sa halip na ang hinahabol nya ay yung mga kaso ng katiwalian sa gobyerno, ang inaatupag nyag e yung kaso nya [Because the net effect of this, instead of her going after corruption in government she has to attend to her own case],” said the senator.

And while she assured Gutierrez of a fair trial in the Senate, Pangilinan was hopeful that administration allies like him would support the resignation or impeachment of the Ombudsman.

“I hope that the allies of the President [Benigno Aquino III] will support his position and this is that the Ombudsman has to go,” he said.

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