INTERVIEW| Alvarez on Ombudsman’s order against Rep. Garcia

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REP. Gwen Garcia

HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has said that the Ombudsman order dismissing Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia was constitutionally and legally infirm and that the same will not even be discussed at the plenary of the House of Representatives. Here follows an interview with Alvarez on the matter:

Q: …Garcia, Sir?

Alvarez: My appropriate action is not to implement the order.

Q: Why is that, sir?

Alvarez: Why? Because there is nothing in the constitution that allows me to do that. In fact, it is not within the power of the Ombudsman to discipline, much more to remove any member of the House of Representatives. So ‘pag ginawa ko ‘yan, I will be violating the constitution since mayroong nakalagay sa constitution na kami lang yung may kapangyarihan na mag-discipline at remove ng member of the House of Representatives.

Q: Sir, the dismissal order stems from Cong. Garcia’s transactions when she was still a governor of Cebu. Hindi po ba applicable pa rin yun, sir?

Alvarez: Hindi. Kasi yung dismissal order na yan, ang treatment ko diyan yung dismissal niya as a governor, not as a congressman. Late yung decision, late yung order. Dapat noon pa nilabas yan noong siya ay gobernador pa lang.

Q: Sir, ang sabi po kanina ni Congressman Garcia, the timing was suspicious kasi she has been very active in the impeachment proceedings, Sir. Do you agree with her?

Alvarez: Hindi. Wala naman akong pakialam doon sa timing-timing na yan, ano? Kung anuman yan. At wala rin akong pakialam kung anuman yung larong yan. Ang sa akin lang, yung legal basis. Kung mayroong legal basis ‘yan base sa ating Saligang Batas ay gagawin ko pero kung wala naman I will not.

Q: So, sir, for you, there’s no legal basis for the Ombudsman to order the dismissal of Rep. Garcia?

Alvarez: Yes, definitely. Kasi wala akong makita sa constitution. Kanina ko pa binabasa, wala akong makitang provision na nagsasabi na pwedeng gawin yun.

Q: So, sir, you will not implement po the dismissal order against the Congressman Garcia?

Alvarez: Definitely not, definitely not.

Q: Kasi, sir, ang hinahanap niyo po ay pwedeng tanggalin for an offense committed in a previous office, tama po?

Alvarez: Ano, paano?

Q: Sir, bakit hindi po ninyo i-implement? Ano po yung wala doon sa constitution na sinasabi niyo po?

Alvarez: Paulit-ulit naman tayo eh. Sinabi ko na nga sayo na wala sa constitution, hinahanap mo. Ilang beses mo ba itatanong sa akin yan?

Q: (laughs) Sir, sorry pero why would the Ombudsman issue such an order without legal basis?

Alvarez: Itanong mo sa kanila yun. Huwag mong itanong sa akin. Kasi hindi ko problema kung nag-issue sila ng order nang walang legal basis. Problema nila yun. Hindi ko problema yan, di ba?

Q: So, sir, this won’t be taken up in the plenary because this has no legal basis?

Alvarez: Ano, ano, ano?

Q: This won’t be taken up in the plenary?

Alvarez: Of course not. Bakit naman pag-aabalahan natin ‘yan kung walang legal basis, di ba?

Q: May tanong pa kayo? Sir, maraming salamat po sa oras ninyo.

Alvarez: Okay.

 

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