THE Supreme Court (SC) has junked the consolidated petition seeking to declare vacant the position of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and declare void the decisions she issued from December 1, 2012 up to present.
The SC, in its ruling, said that Article XI Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 7 and 8(3) of the Republic Act 6770 state that the Ombudsman is appointed to a full term of seven years without reappointment, and not simply the unexpired portion of the predecessor.
Petitioners lawyer Nathaniel Ifurung and former Metro Rail Transit 3 general manager Al Vitangcol III, in their petition, argued that Morales, successor of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, should be stripped of her office as her term has already expired in 2012.
They said that Morales, an appointee to an uncompleted term, must only serve the remainder of the unexpired term of Gutierrez.
Gutierrez resigned on May 6, 2011, but her term was supposed to expire on November 30, 2012.
Ifurung's petition also urged the high court to declare as vacant the positions of Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Gerard Mosquera, Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas Paul Elmer Clemente, Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman and Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices Cyril Ramos.
The seven-year term of Morales will expire in July. (SunStar Philippines)