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Monday, March 4, 2024

VACC whiffs on filing anew

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The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption failed, for the third time, to secure an endorser to an impeachment complaint it filed—this time against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Led by lawyer Manuelito Luna and former congressman Jacinto Paras, the complainants submitted a 94-page petition against Morales, who is set to retire in six months.

They accused Morales of alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, treason and bribery, graft and corruption, and other high crimes and betrayal of public trust on several issues.

“She is due to retire in a few months, I do not think this [case] should pass through the long and tedious proceedings in the justice committee. We expect one third of the House membership to endorse it,” Paras said.   

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Under the House impeachment rules, no action can be taken on any impeachment complaint unless endorsed by at least one member of Congress. 

The VACC said Morales—an appointee of former President Benigno Aquino III like the other government officials it has charged—must be held liable for betrayal of public trust due to “selective prosecution of cases, violation of the Constitution and/or betrayal of public trust.” 

They said the Ombudsman showed “inordinate delay or failure to promptly act on complaints and betrayal of public trust due to sanctioning the filing of losing cases” to shield Aquino from his culpability for the death of the 44 Special Action Force troopers during the Jan. 25, 2015 clash to hunt down terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The VACC earlier submitted to the Office of the Speaker an impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo for alleged betrayal of public trust for her video message to a United Nations event,  which showed her talking about extrajudicial killings being linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.

The group also attempted to oust Morales but the House justice panel junked its earlier complaint over technicalities. 

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