Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez resigns, 10 days before impeachment trial, earns mixed reactions

By on Apr 29, 2011 in Asia, Local, Politics Comments

Manila, PhilippinesOmbudsman Merceditas Gutierrez resigned on Friday, April 29, 2011, effective May 6, 2011, 10 days before the Senate impeachment trial.

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez resigns

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez resignation letter
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According to local news sites, Ombudsman Gutierrez submitted her resignation letter to President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III (PNoy) on Friday, at around 10:30 a.m. (local time), who accepted and signed it in front of her.

Apparently, she is being accused of covering up some of the high profile cases against former president and now Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who is also being accused of alleged betrayal of public trust due to the low conviction rates in her time, held a mini press conference on the same day.

“I wanted to face my accusers whatever the personal agony it would have involved but the interest of my family, my office and more importantly the nation must always come before any personal consideration.” She told reporters.

“As a government official, I must place first and foremost the interests of the nation, the interest of my office and, as a wife and mother, my family,” the Ombudsman added, as Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said that the impeachment trial will no longer push through.

Later, Gutierrez’ resignation earned mixed reactions particularly from top government officials and politicians, as the materials for the impeachment trial have already been prepared.

“Her action has spared the country from a long and divisive impeachment process that would have distracted our lawmakers from dealing with the many problems we face today.” PNoy said in a statement.

“The resignation of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez is a welcome development. However you regard the Ombudsman, her stepping down from office can only have a positive impact for the country.” Vice-President Jejomar Binay said.

“The resignation of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez relieved Congress and the government of what might have turned out into a long, protracted, grueling and costly impeachment trial.” House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said.

Nevertheless, Gutierrez‘ daughter Margarita told the press that their family is totally against their mother’s decision to resign from her post, noting that they want to prove to the public that her mother is innocent and the only way to do is to fight legally through the impeachment trial.

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