By Ben R. Rosario
The House of Representatives will not implement the Ombudsman order dismissing Deputy Speaker. Gwendolyn Garcia from office as representative of Cebu.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez made this clear in a radio interview hours after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the dismissal of Garcia after finding her guilty of an administrative charge filed in connection with her former position as Cebu governor.
“My appropriate action is not to implement the order,” said Alvarez.
The House leader explained that “there is nothing in the Constitution” that grants him the power to implement the Ombudsman directive.
“It is not within the power of the Ombudsman to discipline, much more to remove any member of the House of Representatives,” Alvarez stressed.
He pointed out that complying with the Ombudsman directive will make him liable of violating the Constitution that grants Congress the sole prerogative to impose disciplinary action or remove erring members.
Alvarez said Morales’ dismissal order came late because the alleged administrative violation was committed when Garcia was still a governor and not as a congresswoman.
In a statement, Garcia said the timing of the Ombudsman resolution to unseat her “is highly suspicious}”, adding that it “amounts to a blatant attempt to strong arm” her into helping her excape from the House impeachment.
“Considering that I have been vigorously and actively involve din the dispatch of impeachment complaints such as the one against Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, it is no surprise that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who now faces an impeachment complaint against her, would want to have the impeachment complaint dimissed by strong arming key members of Congress such as myself,” she stated.
Garcia added: “My dismissal from service at her hands makes her motivation far too obvious.”