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LA rep eludes impeachment complaint

Last July 16, the Office of the Ombudsman received an impeachment complaint which accused Jam Padilla, FAST2010 Legislative Assembly Representative, of committing an act of extreme partiality.

Evidence was submitted to the University Student Government (USG) Judiciary which contained a screenshot of a photo showing Padilla ‘attending’ an Alyansang Tapat sa Lasalista (Tapat) General Assembly. The said act was committed through the social networking site Facebook.

According to Article VIII, section 2 of the Officer’s Code of Conduct and Responsibilities, all elected officers shall be discouraged from engaging in any form of partisanship during their incumbency so as to uphold the independent stand of the USG.

Ombudsman Guiliano Torres shared that Robert Hechanova, USG Vice President for Internal Affairs gave the corresponding evidence that was needed to support the complaint. However, there was no written testimony from Hechanova.

“I was surprised when I received it and the grounds for the impeachment complaint which was me clicking attending on the General Assembly Event on Facebook,” says Padilla.

According to Torres, upon his ocular inspection of the event, Padilla was not present during the general assembly. “Now what we have to work with is the intent and the public declaration of her intent of going to a Tapat general assembly. Consumated or not, the intent was there,” he explains.

 

Invalidation

A few days after submission of the draft of the letter of complaint on July 16, from the Ombudsman to the Judiciary, it was invalidated.

The complaint was assailed due to the absence of Hechanova’s testimony, the lack in stronger evidence and the mismatch of the accusation and the act committed.

Torres states that it is the job of his office to exhaust all means of finding sufficient evidence for the case before they can say without a doubt that there was no offense committed.

“We are planning to put some arguments in the next complaint to compensate for the lack of evidence and to [formulate] a more proper accusation against Padilla.”

By Justin Umali

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