OMBUDSMANUPHOLDS CHARGESVSAQUINO

Bandera (Mindanao) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Office of the Ombudsman has denied the appeal of former President No yno y Aquino, who was indicted for graft and

usurpation of authority over his alleged involvement in the Mamasapano tragedy, clearing the way for the filing of the criminal information against the ex-Chief Executive before the Sandiganbayan.

In a resolution approved on September 11, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales rejected Aquino’s motion for partial reconsideration, which argued that his indictment was a “misappreciation of facts and specious application of the law” and therefore, warrants the outright dismissal of the complaint against him.

The Ombudsman belied Aquino’s claim that he was not given the opportunity “to adequately address and refute the charges” filed against him. The Ombudsman asserted that the former President was “accorded the opportunity to be heard during the conduct of (the) preliminary investigation.”

Aquino was indicted for graft in violation of Section 3(a) of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act for allegedly defying the Ombudsman’s earlier preventive suspension order on former Police Chief Alan Purisima when he purportedly allowed the ex-top cop to be involved in the “Oplan Exo du s ” op e r a t i on against international terrorist Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 2015.

The Ombudsman meted a preventive suspension against Purisima for his alleged part in the anomalous Werfast gun courier contract.

Aquino was also indicted for usurpation of authority for allegedly conspiring with Purisima and sacked Special Action Force (SAF) commander Getulio Napeñas, both earlier charged before the Sandiganbayan with graft and usurpation of powers for allegedly bypassing the chain of command.

The former police officials’ indictment stemmed from their failure to coordinate with the military about the Mamasapano raid, which resulted in the delayed deployment of reinforcements for the elite SAF members , wh o got trapped in the crossfire with fighters from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and other private armed groups in the area.

“President Aquino himself has repeatedly admitted and asserted in his counter-affidavit and in the instant motion that he utilized the services of Purisima for Oplan Exodus, albeit he is insisting that it was only for a limited role of a resource person,” the Ombudsman said.

“To this Office, however, the evidence on record regarding the extent of Purisima’s actual participation in Oplan Exodus… shows that he was certainly much more than being a resource person,” the Ombudsman added.

The Ombudsman said it found no reason to reverse its earlier indictment for graft and usurpation of powers against Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas, especially because it was Aquino’s role which set the motion for Purisima’s involvement.

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