MANILA -- A group of lawyers on Friday has asked the Office of the President (OP) to “bodily or physically” remove Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang from office or restrain him from exercising his duty for refusing to serve his 90-day suspension.
In a joint motion filed before the OP on February 23, lawyers Manuelito Luna, Jacinto Paras, Glenn Chong and Eligio Mallari urged the OP to use “necessary and reasonable force” to impose the preventive suspension versus Carandang.
“Today, we filed our joint motion before the Office of the President to remove, bodily or physically, Deputy Ombudsman Carandang from office because he has refused and continues to refuse to serve the 90-day preventive suspension,” Luna said in an interview with Palace reporters.
Paras said another reason for filing the joint motion was Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ refusal to implement the OP’s suspension order which she claims is unconstitutional.
Last January 29, Malacanang slapped Carandang with a 90-day preventive suspension for grave misconduct and grave dishonesty after he made public the bank documents of President Rodrigo Duterte and his family.
Paras said Carandang has “divulged falsely” the purported bank records which the Overall Deputy Ombudsman had claimed were taken from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
“But later on it was denied by AMLC that the record were taken from AMLC,” Paras told the media.
“It is respectfully prayed of the honorable office to cause respondent Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur H. Carandang to be bodily or physically remove from office or restrained from the exercise thereof (for a period of 90 days counted from date of actual suspension), through the use of necessary and reasonable force," they stated in the joint motion.
Since no temporary restraining order was issued by the court, Duterte can order enforcement agencies like the Philippine National Police to implement their joint motion to physically remove Carandang from office, according to the complainants.
They also suggested that “contingents of enforcers may be stationed” at the Office of the Ombudsman premises to prevent Carandang “from returning to his office and make a mockery of the process.”
Carandang led the investigation into Dutertes’ alleged ill-gotten wealth. (PNA)