Mar 24, 2017

Belgica files disbarment case vs Ombudsman Morales

Former Manila City councilor Greco Belgica filed a disbarment case vs. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.

Belgica filed a complaint to the Supreme Court on March 24 saying that Morales violated the lawyer's code after the latter dismissed all criminal and administrative cases vs former President Noynoy Aquino over the Disbursement Acceleration Program.
Belgica files disbarment case vs Ombudsman Morales
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Aquino was cleared of all faults, while former Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad only for usurpation of legislative power and all complaints for graft, malversation, administrative liabilities were disregarded.

Belgica said Morales violated provisions of the Canon of Professional Responsibility in her resolution of the DAP cases.

The Ombudsman responded by saying she has yet to read the complaint, "Anyway, everyone is at liberty to file a complaint. Being charged is part of the territory. I am ready to meet head-on any complaint, anytime, anywhere. Wish them luck,"

According to Rule 6.01 of the canon, "The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to convict but to see that justice is done. The suppression of facts or the concealment of witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused is highly reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary action"



Belgica said that Morales' decision towards Aquino was in violation to this.

“By absolving the former President of the crime of usurpation of legislative powers without stating the reason, the Ombudsman only gave more weight to the people’s suspicion that she is biased. Worse, she violated her lawyer’s oath when she failed to support the Constitution by depriving the right of the people to due proess of law,” he said.

He called also to make Aquino accountable.

The Ombudsman resolution explained that Abad was the only one indicted for the crime because he was the signatory on the National Budget Circular (NBC) No. 541, the very document which made DAP possible. The circular directed the withdrawal of unobligated allotments.

But to Belgica, Morales failed to perform her duty as a lawyer because she did not  see to it that justice is done to the detriment of the Filipino people.

The former councilor also stated  Rule 7.03 – A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.\

He said by favoring the former president, Morales showed bias which is comparable to the way she treated former President Gloria Arroyo.

The Ombudsman can only be removed through impeachment or conviction of crimes provided for by the Ombudsman law. To note, a disbarment case may be seen as an indirect attempt to remove Morales from office since the law also states that the Ombudsman should be a member of the bar.

“We are preparing an impeachment complaint, and I know some other people are also preparing, I will support that,” Belgica said.

Morales is set to retire next year and said she will resolve the complaint before then.

Source: Rappler


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