Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Repost From GMA News.TV

Merci defies Palace by declaring deputy acquitted

The embattled Ombudsman, Merceditas Gutierrez, is defying Malacañang by declaring that her deputy Emilio Gonzalez III, ordered dismissed by the Office of the President on Thursday, has already been acquitted in an internal probe.

According to Gutierrez's official statement, the matter of her deputy's culpability is "legally final and closed."

Gutierrez said that an internal investigation by her office has already found Gonzalez not culpable in the deadly August 23, 2010, hostage-taking crisis in Luneta.

"This Office... had already taken cognizance of the case of DO Gonzalez and its Internal Affairs Board has already acquitted him of the charge," Gutierrez said.

The Ombudsman said the internal probe was initiated based on the provisions under Section 4, Article XI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution giving the office independence from any other office of government.

"This Office has considered the matter of DO Gonzalez’s culpability in the hijacking episode as legally final and closed," she said.

Malacañang earlier on Friday announced Gonzalez's dismissal for the alleged mishandling of the case of Inspector Rolando Mendoza, who held hostage Hong Kong tourists last year.

The Palace took note of the length of time – nine months – that it took Gonzalez to rule on the motion for reconsideration filed by Mendoza. It said he could have decided on the matter in five days.

While speaking with Gonzalez over the phone in the middle of the hostage-taking crisis, hostage-taker Mendoza berated the deputy ombudsman for allegedly demanding P150,000 from him in exchange for the settlement of his case that led to his dismissal from the police service.

"P-- mo, humihingi ka pa ng P150,000 para sa kaso ko. Kung may mamatay rito, kasalanan mo lahat ito," Mendoza allegedly shouted Gonzalez.

Investigators at the time looked into the possibility that the alleged P150,000 demand could have fueled Mendoza's anger.

Gonzalez had denied the accusation of the hostage-taker, who he said he never met before, adding he was merely "framed up." — LBG/HS, GMA News

Reposted From GMA News.TV

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