Monday, April 10, 2017

Ombudsman Morales faces disbarment raps for clearing Noynoy Aquino in DAP case


April 11, '17| Tuesday

Former Manila City councilor Greco Belgica
files to the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday March 24, to strip Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales of her license as a lawyer for clearing former President Benigno Aquino III over his administration's implementation of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Belgica urged the high tribunal to disbar Morales, saying the retired SC justice violated the Lawyer's Oath and the Canon of Professional Responsibility when she approved earlier this month the resolution absolving Aquino of the charges for technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers, and graft.

"In absolving the (former) president of criminal liability by omitting his name in the discussion relative to the finding of probable cause against former (Budget) Secretary Florencio Abad, the Filipino people was deprived of their right to procedural due process," the complaint stated.

"Hence, the Ombudsman violated her lawyer's oath when she deprived of their right to procedural due process, a right enshrined in our Constitution and mandated by law," it added.


Morales is also accused of violating Rule 6.01 of the Canon of Professional Responsibility when she allegedly failed to perform her duty "to see that justice is done."

The complaint also alleged that Morales violated Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 of the same code on the ground that she failed to "uphold the integrity and dignity" of the legal profession in clearing Aquino of the charge of usurpation of legislative powers "without reason."

"Taking into consideration the fact that the former president appointed her, her conduct of favoring the former president adversely reflected her fitness to practice law," it said.

It was Aquino who appointed Morales to the anti-graft body following her retirement from the SC in 2011.

Asked if the disbarment proceedings can proceed considering that Morales has to be removed first through impeachment, Belgica said it was up to the SC to decide on the matter.

Belgica said the SC can implement its decision on the complaint if it is resolved after her tenure on July 25, 2018.

If the complaint is resolved before her tenure expires, he asked the SC to defer the imposition of penalty.

"In either situation, she has to be penalized. The SC ruling is clear that DAP is illegal yet the masterminds of this illegal scheme were absolved by the Ombudsman," he told GMA News Online.


Ombudsman reacts

Reached for her reaction, Morales said she is ready to face the allegation "anytime, anywhere."

"I have yet to know the grounds of the complaint. Anyway, everyone is at liberty to file a complaint," the Ombudsman said.

"Being charged is part of the territory. I am ready to meet head-on any complaint, anytime, anywhere. Wish them luck," Morales said.

Abad was indicted for usurpation of legislative powers for unlawfully issuing the National Budget Circular No. 541 that was used to carry out the DAP.

The Ombudsman, however, said Aquino and Abad cannot be indicted for technical malversation because they did not “apply” public funds to other public purposes.

“The issuance and approval of memoranda and budget circular, in a strict sense, cannot be equated with application of public funds under the statute,” the Ombudsman said.

Key provisions of the DAP had been stricken off by the SC in 2014 for pooling funds even before the end of the fiscal year, using savings to aid offices outside the Executive branch and funding projects not under the national budget.

The high court also declared illegal the tapping of unprogrammed funds without following the necessary requirements.


Source: GMA News
Former Manila City councilor Greco Belgica asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday to strip Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales of her license as a lawyer for clearing former President Benigno Aquino III over his administration's implementation of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Belgica urged the high tribunal to disbar Morales, saying the retired SC justice violated the Lawyer's Oath and the Canon of Professional Responsibility when she approved earlier this month the resolution absolving Aquino of the charges for technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers, and graft.
"In absolving the (former) president of criminal liability by omitting his name in the discussion relative to the finding of probable cause against former (Budget) Secretary Florencio Abad, the Filipino people was deprived of their right to procedural due process," the complaint stated.
"Hence, the Ombudsman violated her lawyer's oath when she deprived of their right to procedural due process, a right enshrined in our Constitution and mandated by law," it added.


Morales is also accused of violating Rule 6.01 of the Canon of Professional Responsibility when she allegedly failed to perform her duty "to see that justice is done."
The complaint also alleged that Morales violated Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 of the same code on the ground that she failed to "uphold the integrity and dignity" of the legal profession in clearing Aquino of the charge of usurpation of legislative powers "without reason."
"Taking into consideration the fact that the former president appointed her, her conduct of favoring the former president adversely reflected her fitness to practice law," it said.
It was Aquino who appointed Morales to the anti-graft body following her retirement from the SC in 2011.
Asked if the disbarment proceedings can proceed considering that Morales has to be removed first through impeachment, Belgica said it was up to the SC to decide on the matter.
Belgica said the SC can implement its decision on the complaint if it is resolved after her tenure on July 25, 2018.
If the complaint is resolved before her tenure expires, he asked the SC to defer the imposition of penalty.
"In either situation, she has to be penalized. The SC ruling is clear that DAP is illegal yet the masterminds of this illegal scheme were absolved by the Ombudsman," he told GMA News Online.
Ombudsman reacts
Reached for her reaction, Morales said she is ready to face the allegation "anytime, anywhere."
"I have yet to know the grounds of the complaint. Anyway, everyone is at liberty to file a complaint," the Ombudsman said.
"Being charged is part of the territory. I am ready to meet head-on any complaint, anytime, anywhere. Wish them luck," Morales said.
Abad was indicted for usurpation of legislative powers for unlawfully issuing the National Budget Circular No. 541 that was used to carry out the DAP.
The Ombudsman, however, said Aquino and Abad cannot be indicted for technical malversation because they did not “apply” public funds to other public purposes.
“The issuance and approval of memoranda and budget circular, in a strict sense, cannot be equated with application of public funds under the statute,” the Ombudsman said.
Key provisions of the DAP had been stricken off by the SC in 2014 for pooling funds even before the end of the fiscal year, using savings to aid offices outside the Executive branch and funding projects not under the national budget.
The high court also declared illegal the tapping of unprogrammed funds without following the necessary requirements.
The decision stemmed from the petitions filed by several individuals and groups including Belgica.
- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/604489/news/nation/ombudsman-morales-faces-disbarment-raps-for-clearing-noynoy-aquino-in-dap-case?utm_source=GMANews&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=news#sthash.nhnVSAGe.dpuf

0 comments

Post a Comment