Ombudsman can take care of herself: Belmonte

STRESING it was the farthest thing from his mind; Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. Monday strongly denied he is supporting embattled Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez in her impeachment cases.

Belmonte was reacting to a national daily’s headline that said “Belmonte backs Gutierrez,” which he said was “completely incorrect.”

Belmonte said he merely responded to a question via text of whether he will urge Gutierrez to submit herself to the process. His exact reply was “No siya bahala sa defense niya”.

The surprised House leader said he was “taken completely out of context” and that the story itself was devoid of any concrete
statement supporting the headline.

“That’s (his text message) not supporting her.  That’s simply saying I’m not lawyering or advising her on what to do.  She should look out for her own interest,” Belmonte pointed out.

Gutierrez has filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the Supreme Court on the decision allowing the House to proceed with the impeachment case.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Justice chaired by Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas, Jr., is expected to vote on Tuesday to determine whether the impeachment case against Gutierrez has probable cause, and is scheduled to proceed whether or not the Ombudsman makes an appearance.

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