Palace affirms decision to remove Carandang as overall deputy ombudsman
The Office of the President ( OP) has affirmed the removal of Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang after he disclosed the alleged bank transactions of President Rodrigo Duterte and his family members.
In a text message to reporters, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed on Monday the OP denied Carandang's motion for reconsideration.
"We denied his MR because it presented the same argument contesting the jurisdiction of OP, which we already found unpersuasive based on reasons thoroughly explained in our earlier decision dismissing him from the service," he said.
"We also found his belated attempts to explain his misleading disclosures to the media, which was the basis of the charges against him, to be similarly unpersuasive," he said.
Medialdea said the OP carefully considered Carandang's explanations but found them to be "mere afterthoughts and to be overly reliant on technicalities that do not even apply to administrative cases being heard by the Office of the President."
"In short, none of his arguments warranted a reversal of our findings in the earlier decision," he added.
Asked what would happen after the denial of Carandang's motion, the official said, "The Ombudsman will have to declare the position of ODO vacant then the JBC (Judicial and Bar Council) will declare the position open for nomination."
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, in a press briefing, said Carandang could still question the decision of the OP before the Supreme Court.
"Grave abuse of discretion on a certiorari, he can do that if he wants," he said.
Asked if Carandang's dismissal was executory, he said he would still have to study it.
But initially, he said, "if he could still go to the Supreme Court, it's not yet executory."
The Office of the Ombudsman had closed and terminated the field investigation on the complaints against Duterte and some members of his family after the Anti-Money Laundering Council "declined to provide a report or confirmation on the requested vital data."
By rule, the anti-graft investigating body said, "a closed and terminated field investigation is without prejudice to the refiling of a complaint with new or additional evidence."
The fact-finding or field investigation of Duterte's and his daughter's, Davao City Vice Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, alleged ill-gotten wealth based on the complaints filed by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was terminated on Nov. 29, 2017. Celerina Monte/DMS