Resigning from her post may save impeached Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez from a trial at the Senate, but may lead to criminal charges to be handled by her successor, a lawmaker said Friday.
Reacting to news about Gutierrez’s reported resignation, House justice committee chairman Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. said the move, if true, could save her from the Senate trial but not from possible criminal charges that would likely be filed against her.
"Magiging moot ang impeachment trial sa Senado, pero hindi ibig sabihin libre na siya sa ginawa niya. The process of impeachment is only to impeach and remove her from office. Ang second step, ang kaso against [her]," Tupas said in an interview on dzBB radio.
He said the venue of such charges would be before the next Ombudsman.
After her impeachment by the House of Representatives in March, Gutierrez was set to face trial by the Senate starting May 9.
Meanwhile, militant groups that filed an impeachment complaint against Gutierrez said the next step should be to go after former President Gloria Arroyo.
"Sa ngayon totoo yan, walang magaganap na trial kung nag-resign si Merceditas Gutierrez. Ang next step habulin si Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo," Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said in a separate interview on dzBB.
He said many of the impeachment complaints against Gutierrez had involved alleged irregularities under the Arroyo administration.
News about Gutierrez's resignation broke out before noon Friday.
Reports said Gutierrez submitted her letter of resignation to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III earlier in the day, 10 days before her Senate impeachment trial was set to begin on May 9.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said Gutierrez personally handed her resignation letter to Aquino "about an hour ago," when GMA News Online called him up at around noon on Friday. — LBG/RSJ, GMA News
Reposted From GMA News