MANILA -- The cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the P728-million fertilizer fund scam is part of a grand design to clear the names of Arroyo allies, Akbayan said Thursday.
Former Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros, who initiated one of the impeachment complaints against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, said Gutierrez “is laying the foundation to make the Ombudsman a permanent mass grave for corruption cases involving the previous administration.”
Hontiveros and lawyer Mauro Reyes, the legal counsel in the complaints filed against former Deputy Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni, explained that the Ombudsman is using the so-called “Tatad doctrine” to provide a backdoor exit for the former President’s allies who are facing various graft and corruption charges.
According to Reyes, the Tatad doctrine is based on a Supreme Court jurisprudence, which states that undue delay on the part of the Ombudsman to resolve a case violates the constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases.
Under the doctrine, a delay close to three years is not considered tenable and acceptable.
Early this month, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of plunder charges against former Agriculture secretary Luis “Cito” Lorenzo Jr. and his Undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante in connection with the fertilizer scam in 2004. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)