Morales term already expired — Vitangcol

  • Written by Hector Lawas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 311

THE Supreme Court has been asked to order Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to immediately cease from discharging her official functions and duties.

In a petition lodged before the weekend, former Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) general manager Al Vitangcol III petitioned the high court to rule that Morales’ term of office had already expired last November 30, 2012.

Morales replaced former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who resigned on May 6, 2011 to avoid an impeachment trial and left an unexpired term of until Nov. 30, 2012.

Vitangcol pointed out that Morales was to serve only the remainder of Gutierrez’s term, instead of a fresh seven years.

Vitangcol urged the SC to declare Section 8 (3) of Republic Act 6770 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989 unconstitutional as it gave the new appointee fresh mandate instead of serving the unexpired term only.
“Legislative intent is part and parcel of the law. It is the controlling factor in interpreting a statute. In fact, any interpretation that runs counter with the legislative intent is unacceptable and invalid,” the petition stated.
At the same time, Vitangcol urged the SC to declare Morales’ orders, decisions and resolutions rendered from December 1, 2012 up to the present null and void.
Incidentally, Morales ordered the indictment before the Sandiganbayan of Vitangcol over his alleged attempt to extort $30 million from a Czech light rail vehicles supplier and irregularities in the transit system’s interim maintenance contract during his stint as MRT head.