Speaker on Ombudsman: ‘Even if you have basis, you have no right’ to dismiss congressmen

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House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez insisted on Tuesday that the Office of the Ombudsman has no power to discipline erring members of Congress, including Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia, who was ordered dismissed from the service on Monday.

“Kahit na mayroon siyang basehan… wala talagang karapatan para disiplinahin yung miyembro ng Kongreso,” he said in an interview over DZMM radio.

The Speaker said he had no intention of implementing the Ombudsman’s order against Garcia, as it does not have legal basis.

But he said the Ombudsman has other options.

“Ngayon kung gusto, puwede siyang mag-file ng kaso doon sa Sandiganbayan… At magkakaroon ng proceedings doon sa Sandiganbayan,” he said.

“Pero yung para sabihin ng Ombudsman na siya lang mismo magsabi na, oy i-suspend mo yan, oy i-dismiss mo yan, ay hindi yun,” Alvarez said.

“Hindi pupuwede yon, hindi pupuwede,” he repeated.

The dismissal order against Garcia was issued in connection with the allegedly anomalous purchase of a P98.9-million Balili property when she was the governor of Cebu.