30 April 2011

Ombudsman Finally Resigns

Ombudsman Resignation Letter
Finally, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez has decided to tender her resignation from office. She said that although she wanted to face her accusers, "the interest of my family, my office and more importantly the nation must come before any personal consideration."

"The country demands a full time Ombudsman and full time Congress. The impeachment proceedings have consumed the time not only of House of reps [representatives] but also the chief executive…the last thing the nation needs is for the House and Senate to be embroiled in an impeachment proceedings against a single public official," Gutierrez said, reading from a prepared statement during a press conference on 29 April 2011.

Gutierrez is facing impeachment charges for, among others, alleged neglect of duty in failing to act on the criminal and administrative cases filed primarily against her former boss and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and husband, Jose Miguel.

Gutierrez, whose resignation is effective 6 May 2011, said that her decision to step down should now enable the government to "focus on the problem of the people rather than spending time and effort to remove me from public office."

Gutierrez also acknowledged the "opportunity given to me by GMA [former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s initial]" but said that her "undivided attention is and forever will be for the Filipino people."

Earlier, speculation was rife that Gutierrez would resign after MalacaƱang sources leaked the visit of Gutierrez to the Palace where she handed her resignation letter to President Benigno Aquino III.

Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo confirmed this, adding that the President had also accepted Gutierrez's resignation.