The Ombudsman is not exempted from the checks and balances in government even though it is an independent office, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has said.
Panelo issued this reminder to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales after she refused to respect Malacañang’s suspension order slapped against Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang.
“Begging the pardon of the Ombudsman, but I think she is forgetting that there is such a thing as check and balances sa gobyerno,” Panelo said.
“Hindi porke’t independent ka, hindi ka pupuwedeng i-check naman ng isang independent body. Talaga ngang nilagay sa Saligang Batas iyon. It was placed in the Constitution,” he added.
Citing an example, he said Congress has the power to impeach top officials, from the President to the Chief Justice, as part of exacting public accountability. “So iyan ang tinatawag na checks and balances as the basic feature of our democratic institution,” he said.
Carandang has been suspended for 90 days for the unauthorized disclosure of the President’s alleged bank records. He said the documents came from the Anti-Money Laundering Council but the council denied his claim. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)