While the Senate is preparing for the impeachment trial which is set to start on 9 May 2011, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez announced her resignation yesterday. The resignation effectively renders the impeachment trial moot and academic.
Impeachment is the only legal mechanism to remove certain government officials, specifically the the President, the Vice-President, Members of the Supreme Court, Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman. [Click here to read more on impeachment]
A ruling against the subject officer does not result to a criminal conviction or even a criminal charge (unless there’s a separate case). It merely results to the removal of that officer. There’s no officer to remove if the said officer is no longer in office by reason of resignation.