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‘Not my call,’ Morales claims over suspension of pork scam senators

The Ombudsman distanced herself from the issue of possibly suspending the senators who were charged with plunder on Monday for their involvement in the multi-billion pork barrel scam.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said that the said suspension order will not come from her office but rather from the Sandiganbayan.

On Monday, the Department of Justice and National Bureau of Investigation filed graft and plunder charges against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr.

“I take it that that refers only to cases when the information has been filed in court. But as far as the ombudsman is concerned, I have said it publicly before that the ombudsman has no administrative, disciplinary jurisdiction over members of Congress,” Morales said.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said that those involved should be suspended as per the Anti-Plunder Act.

But Morales doubts the suspension of the senators.

“The use of the word ‘it shall,’ I don’t think it will be automatic on the part of the Sandiganbayan to suspend. I really don’t know... that’s really debatable. Of course the ombudsman will move for the suspension of the defendant-congressman or senator,” Morales said a former associate justice of the Supreme Court. (Rommel Fuertes)

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