(Photo by ombudsman.gov.ph, a government site, used here for educational and non-commercial purposes; cropped for composition)
Furious as hell as described by witnesses, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez threatened the signatories of the impeachment complaint against her that she would launch criminal investigations or file criminal complaints against them.
She may argue later on that since the criminal investigations would be conducted by DOJ prosecutors on complaints she would file, she could legally make such threats and not cross the lawful line ( i try not to comment on “moral lines”).
She did cross the line, the lawful line. She has jurisdiction over at least two of the signatories and the partylist representatives and congressmen who had endorsed and may endorse the impeachment complaint against her [ jurisdiction over U.P. faculty members (and therefore, technically, government employees), Professors Randy David and Karina Constantino-David and criminal jurisdiction over all the congressmen]It is she who would finally review any finding of a prima facie case of a criminal complaint against such government employees, and it is those prosecutors seated and clapping behind her during the presscon who would conduct the fact-finding and preliminary investigation of such criminal complaints.
She has the power to indict them, and she has threatened and promised to use such power against them.
Perhaps blinded by unchecked power, she had been blind to the fact that she too is an officer of the court and therefore, like all lawyers, governed by the Code of Professional Conduct — a code of rules for all lawyers which she had violated with her public threat to avenge the filing of the impeachment complaint against her by using the jurisdiction she has against such signatories.
Chastising the Supreme Court during the presscon by saying that the SC justices did not have jurisdiction over the determination of a prima facie case against those involved in the Mega-Pacific case, she has been blind to the fact that the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over all lawyers and she as an officer of the court is subject to the discipline required of all members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
She may be constitutional unmovable except by impeachment but as lawyer, she is not constitutionally invincible — her heretofore unchecked power and threat-making, not constitutionally absolute.
(or is she about to say that she is a god-lawyer, that she is above the Supreme Court, and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and that vengeance will always be hers)