Against her deputies and assistants before the

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against her deputies and assistants before the appropriate government office. Accordingly, the OP initiated an administrative disciplinary proceeding against Sulit. On March 24, 2011, Sulit filed her Written Explanation, questioning the OP’s jurisdiction. The question of jurisdiction notwithstanding, the OP set the case for preliminary investigation on April 15, 2011, prompting Sulit to seek relief from this Court. On motion for reconsideration and further reflection, the Court votes to grant Gonzales' petition and to declare Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 unconstitutional with respect to the Office of the Ombudsman. (As the full explanation of the Court's vote describes below, this conclusion does not apply to Sulit as the grant of independence is solely with respect to the Office of the Ombudsman which does not include the Office of the Special Prosecutor under the Constitution. The prevailing ruling on this latter point is embodied in the Concurring and Dissenting Opinion of J. Marvic Mario Victor Leonen). We clarify, too, that the issue of whether a Deputy Ombudsman may be subjected to the administrative disciplinary jurisdiction of the President (concurrently with that of the Ombudsman) is a justiciable - not a political - question. A justiciable question is one which is inherently susceptible of being decided on grounds recognized by law, as where the court finds that there are constitutionally-imposed limits on the exercise of the powers conferred on a political branch of the government. To be sure, neither the Executive nor the Legislative can create the power that Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 grants where the Constitution confers none. When exercised authority is drawn from a vacuum, more so when the authority runs counter to a core constitutional principle and constitutional intents, the Court is duty-bound to intervene under the powers and duties granted and imposed on it by Article VIII of the Constitution. With the advent of the 1987 Constitution, a new Office of the Ombudsman was created by constitutional fiat. Unlike in the 1973 Constitution, its independence was expressly and constitutionally guaranteed. Its objectives are to enforce the state policy in Section 27, Article II and the standard of accountability in public service under Section 1, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. Under Section 12, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman is envisioned to be the "protector of the people" against the inept, abusive, and corrupt in the Government, to function essentially as a complaints and action bureau. This constitutional vision of a Philippine Ombudsman practically intends to make the Ombudsman an authority to directly check and guard against the ills, abuses and excesses of the bureaucracy. Pursuant to Section 13(8), Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, Congress enacted RA No. 6770 to enable it to further realize the vision of the Constitution.
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