Leyte Representative Vicente “Ching” Veloso said on Sunday that Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang should directly proceed to the Supreme Court to question his suspension.
Malacañang has earlier placed Carandang under preventive suspension for 90 days for grave misconduct and other administrative offenses for disclosing President Rodrigo Duterte and his family’s alleged bank records.
“If Carandang is aggrieved, he should go up to the Supreme Court. The Office of the President will not go there to ask a declaratory relief because, under the Rules of Court, Rule 2, Section 2, the one with the cause of action as of now, as it appears, it is Carandang,” Veloso said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.
“Hindi ka naman puwedeng umakyat sa husgado kung wala pang cause of action. [You cannot proceed to the court if you don’t have cause of action]. And by express provision of the Constitution, prohibition nandoon talaga sa Korte Suprema [it’s in the supreme court] and it becomes a justiciable action,” he added.
As Rule 65, Section 2 of the Rules of Court says, “When the proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, officer of person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, are without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent to desist from further proceedings in the action or matter specified therein, or otherwise granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.”
Veloso, then, reiterated the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that Carandang should question his suspension if he is convinced that President Rodrigo Duterte has no jurisdiction to put him under a preventive suspension.
The Palace earlier said that it has the power to discipline Carandang.
In a letter released by Roque, Carandang is said to be guilty of “divulging valuable information of a confidential character acquired by his office or by him on account of his position.” Carandang was given 10 days to answer the preventive suspension order which took effect immediately.
The suspension of the Deputy Ombudsman arose from a complaint filed by lawyers Manolito Luna and Elijio Mallari, who accused Carandang of “falsely and maliciously claiming” that the AMLC had divulged a report on Duterte’s alleged bank transactions.