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GONZALES V.

OCHOA
[GR. No. 196231/196232; September 4, 2012]
Facts:
• The case is a consolidation of two cases involving the same issue.
• The first case involves the dismissal of Gonzales as Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law
Enforcement Offices upon a finding of guilt on the administrative charges of Gross Neglect of Duty and Grave
Misconduct constituting a Betrayal of Public Trust.
o On August 2010, former Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza attempted to secure his reinstatement by
taking hostage a bus filled with foreign nationals.
o A formal charge for Grave Misconduct was filed against Mendoza et al. The Ombudsman ruled guilty
against Mendoza.
o A motion for reconsideration was filed, which was held by Gonzales for 9 months (longer than the allowable
time to decide upon the MR of 5 days as per Ombudsman Act).
o Gonzales was charged with Gross Neglect of Duty and Grave Misconduct due to such inaction.
• The second case involves the dismissal of Barreras-Sulit as Special Prosecutor upon a finding of guilt for
culpable violations of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
o On December 2003, two brothers were caught in the US smuggling $100,000 from
Manila.
o Upon investigation, it was found that the money was amassed wealth through military corruption by the
boys’ father, Retired Major General Carlos F. Garcia.
o A formal charge for Plunder and Money Laundering was filed against Garcia and his family.
o Barreras-Sulit initiated a backdoor plea-bargaining deal in favor of Garcia, such acts being tantamount to
culpable violations of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust
Issue: WON the Office of the President has jurisdiction to exercise administrative disciplinary power over a
Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor who belong to the constitutionally-created Office of the
Ombudsman?
Held: YES, Under the doctrine of implication, the power to appoint carries with it the power to remove. As a
general rule, therefore, all officers appointed by the President are also removable by him. Such was expressly
stipulated by the Congress in the Ombudsman Act in order to fill a gap in the law.
In terms of the Ombudsman being an independent body, what is afforded to them is political independence in
terms of office, salary, and appointments among others thus the President may exercise its power of removal
on other aspects. The President may only exercise such authority provided it is within the two restrictions: (1)
that the removal of the Deputy Ombudsman must be for any of the
grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman and (2) that there must be observance of due process.
Both of which were satisfied in the case.