‘Moot and academic,’ impeach case vs Gutierrez archived by senators
MANILA, Philippines -- Saying that it was already "moot and academic," senators voted on Monday to archive the impeachment complaint against former Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez now that she has resigned.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto III moved to have the complaint archived after Gutierrez resigned on April 27 and the Senate received an official notice from the House impeachment team confirming the resignation.
"The chairman of the House committee on justice, Rep. Niel Tupas, wrote to us and said that they were notified already that the Ombudsman resigned and so they consider the impeachment to be moot and academic," said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said the "excitement of impeachment" went down after Gutierrez announced her resignation.
"That was what many of our colleagues were preparing for...as a matter of fact, I myself attended two seminars with different lawyers on the Rules of Court," Zubiri said.
"But now, we are back to work, which is legislation. (This) is better because the planned telenovela of our different colleagues in the legislature disappeared," he added.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that he did not mind missing the impeachment trial because Gutierrez’s resignation, which averted the trial, saved the country from more bitterness and division.
"That's better to save the country. (An impeachment trial would have been) very tedious and very divisive so it was better that she resigned," Lacson said.
"For me, it was a patriotic act on the part of Ombudsman Gutierrez to spare the Senate and the country from a very tedious process," he added.
Enrile said that the Senate would instead tackle the proposed bills on cyber crimes, power reduction, public lands, and the proposed survival fund for Climate Change.
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