Gutierrez Seeks to Dismiss Two Impeachment Cases against Her

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MANILA, Philippines - Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez has sought for the dismissal of the two impeachment complaints filed against her, arguing that her Office's purported inaction on high-profile graft cases does not constitute a betrayal of public trust and a culpable violation of the Constitution.This was her appeal in her 43-page answer to the impeachment cases hurled against her by Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros Baraquel and Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes last year.But the House Committee on Justice has declared the complaints sufficient in form, substance and in grounds.Her reply, which would be treated as part of evidence in the clarificatory hearings on the impeachment complaints at the House of Representatives, was received by the House Committee on Justice last Friday night."By law and settled jurisprudence, respondent Ombudsman has the discretion to determine whether a criminal case, given its facts and circumstances, should be filed or not," Gutierrez said.She even attributed the piling up of cases to her Office's willingness to accommodate complaints against wrongdoings of public servants, particularly government officials. …