Disbarment case filed vs Ombudsman Morales

OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio-Morales is facing a disbarment case over her decision to acquit former President Benigno Aquino III of charges related to the use of the outlawed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Greco Belgica, a former Manila City councilor, filed the complaint against Morales.

The complainant accused Morales of violating the Lawyer's Oath and Code of Professional Responsibility.

Morales cleared Aquino and former Budget undersecretary Mario Relampagos of technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers and graft charges for the alleged illegal implementation of P72-billion DAP in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Only former Budget secretary Florencio Abad was found liable for usurpation of legislative powers. But other charges against Abad were dismissed.

"In absolving the President of criminal liability by omitting his name in the discussion relative to the finding of probable cause against former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, the Filipino people was deprived of their right to procedural due process," the complaint stated.

"Hence, the Ombudsman violated her lawyer's oath when she deprived of their right to due procedural due process, a right enshrined in our Constitution and mandated by law," the complaint read.

Belgica said Morales violated Rule 6.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility when she allegedly failed to perform her duty to see that justice is done; and Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 for failing to "uphold the integrity and dignity" of the members of the bar when she cleared Aquino without reason.

The complainant also noted that her fitness to practice law were adversely reflected when she favored Aquino, who appointed her as Ombudsman in 2011.

The Supreme Court in 2014 declared unconstitutional some acts committed in pursuance of DAP upon acting on the petitions filed by groups.

In 2013, the high court also issued a landmark ruling when it declared PDAF or the Priority Development Assistance Fund of members of the House of Representatives and Senate unconstitutional.

Belgica was a petitioner in both DAP and PDAF cases. (SunStar Philippines)

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