By Mario Casayuran
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party (LP), today threw his support behind a decision of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales when she refused to enforce President Duterte’s order suspending Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carangdang who is probing the President’s alleged unexplained wealth.
‘’The Ombudsman is simply enforcing a Supreme Court decision that says the President cannot suspend the Ombudsman or his or her deputies,’’ Pangilinan said.
‘’Supreme Court rulings form part of the law of the land. She is upholding the rule of law and for this she has our support,’’ he added.
From her detention cell at the Philippine National Police (PNP) at Camp Crame, Quezon city, Sen. Leila de Lima also supported Morales in upholding the independence of her office and that of her deputies from Malacañang.
‘’There is simply no reason why the independence of the Ombudsman and her deputies from the President as affirmed by the Supreme Court cannot be respected by Malacañang.,’’ de Lima said.
De Lima, a former Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary during the Aquino administration, said the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court should not be the ones adjusting to Malacañang.
‘’It is the President who should be acting in accordance with the Constitution and the law. Of course, that is asking too much of this government,’’ she said.
‘’As Malacañang’s arrogance on this issue is only expected, I call on the people to stand behind the Ombudsman in the coming days,’’ she stressed.
`’’To Ombudsman Morales and her deputies, do not waver in this fight for your independence and constitutional mandate. Majority of law-abiding citizens are behind you in this latest attempt of the President to exercise absolute power. He will not succeed so long as men and women of integrity stand up to him as champions of democracy and the rule of law,’’ she added.