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Solons say Rody can quiz Ombudsman

President Duterte can subject the Ombudsman to an investigation if he wants to, House leaders said yesterday.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone and Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque said that such probe is well within the ambit of Duterte’s powers.

“There is no law that says the Ombudsman cannot be investigated. Is there? In fact, it can be investigated by impeachment,” Evardone, the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries chairman, said.

Evardone, a party-mate of Duterte, said he would back such an investigation.

“If it has legal basis, yes. I’m particularly interested on why there were several cases which were dismissed by Sandiganbayan due to ‘inordinate delay’ in the filing of cases by the Ombudsman,” he said.

Roque, a House deputy minority leader and lawyer, called the Executive branch as the de facto “most powerful” among the three co-equal branches of government.

“Meron siyang tinatawag na residual power no. Yong residual power ay kun anuman yong kapangyarihan na hindi nakasaad sa Konstitusyon, yan ay kapangyarihan ng Presidente,” Roque said.

“So hindi po ako sangayon sa sinasabi ng iba na hindi pupwedeng bumuo ng ganyang komisyon ang Presidente. Pupwede,” he added.

Roque said that the panel cannot move to oust Morales since that power belongs to Congress – the House and the Senate – via the impeachment process. The commission can set up such process by recommending it. (Ellson A. Quismorio)