"Go ahead on any ground for as long as this amount to any of the grounds basis of impeachment," Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said. AP, File
MANILA, Philippines — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Monday challenged her critics to file an impeachment case against her.
"If that is intended to scare me into filing a case against Aquino even if the evidence does not warrant, I'm sorry to disappoint them. They can go ahead, they can file the impeachment complaint because I am not going to be coerced into filing a case against someone," Morales said in an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source.
Morales further encouraged her critics to file a complaint against her as long as it is based on any of the grounds for impeachment.
"What should prevent them from filing if they wish to?" Morales said.
Earlier this year, former Manila Councilor Greco Belgica filed a disbarment complaint against Morales on the ground of supposed violation of the Lawyer's Oath for clearing former President Benigno Aquino III of any liability in the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program.
The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the disbarment complaint against Morales, citing that she may only be removed from office by impeachment and cannot be charged with disbarment during her term.
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The ombudsman said that her office would file a case against Aquino if his camp would not be able to controvert the evidence submitted by the complainants against the former president.
Asked if she thinks that there is a concerted effort to remove her from office, Morales said that she would be willing to give up her position.
"I really don't know. But if they want the position, they can have it. As I said before, I can give it to them on a silver platter. It's a thankless job, swerte 'yung aking successor. 6,200 (cases) na lang matitira," the ombudsman said.
Morales revealed that she inherited about 24,000 cases when she assumed office in 2011. As of December 2016, there were about 30,000 cases filed, bringing the total of the ombudsman's cases to 54,000.
"As of December last year, our case load was reduced to 6,200," Morales said.
The ombudsman added that she handles up to 44 cases per day and that she works during Saturdays.
"I'll ask someone to match the performance of the ombudsman. I'm asking anyone if that can be matched," Morales said.