Noy cul­pa­ble for blood­bath

Ma­ga­long sub­mits new ev­i­dence

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - FRONT PAGE - By Keith Calayag BOB DUNGO JR.

Ma­ga­long, who led the Board of In­quiry that in­ves­ti­gated the botched Op­er­a­tion Plan (Oplan) “Ex­o­dus,” joined the kin of the SAF 44 in call­ing on the Of­fice of the Om­buds­man to re­open the in­ves­ti­ga­tions on the grue­some in­ci­dent

The specter of the 2015 Ma­mas­apano mas­sacre of 44 Spe­cial Ac­tion Force (SAF) com­man­dos con­tin­ues to haunt for­mer

Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino III as Baguio City Mayor Ben­jamin Ma­ga­long, the for­mer head of the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion and De­ten­tion Group (CIDG), sub­mit­ted new ev­i­dence yes­ter­day that would pin Aquino to the tragedy. Ma­ga­long, who led the Board of In­quiry (BoI) that in­ves­ti­gated the botched Op­er­a­tion Plan (Oplan) “Ex­o­dus,” joined the kin of the SAF 44 in call­ing on the Of­fice of the Om­buds­man to re­open the in­ves­ti­ga­tions on the grue­some in­ci­dent. The fam­i­lies of the slain com­man­dos sub­mit­ted Ma­ga­long’s af­fi­davit as new ev­i­dence to re­open the case that will now carry the charge of reck­less im­pru­dence re­sult­ing in homi­cide against the for­mer com­man­der-in-chief.

The Supreme Court (SC) last 3 Septem­ber af­firmed the de­ci­sion of for­mer Om­buds­man Con­chita Car­pio-Mo­rales to dis­miss the com­plaints for mul­ti­ple counts of reck­less im­pru­dence re­sult­ing in mul­ti­ple homi­cide against for­mer pres­i­dent Aquino, for­mer Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) chief Alan M. Purisima, and for­mer PNP Spe­cial Ac­tion Force di­rec­tor Ge­tulio Napeñas.

The mo­tion was filed by Er­linda Al­laga, Julie Danao,

Ce­lestino Kian­gan, Felecitas Na­cino and Arse­nio Evan­ge­lista.

“Where­fore premises con­sid­ered, it is re­spect­fully prayed of this hon­or­able of­fice that the in­stant case be re­opened in or­der to pave the way for the con­duct of pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion in ac­cor­dance with due process of law,” the mo­tion stated.

As BoI head, Ma­ga­long pinned down Aquino for vi­o­lat­ing the chain of com­mand in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Oplan “Ex­o­dus” tar­get­ing Malaysian ter­ror­ists Zulk­i­fli bin Hir, alias Mar­wan, Amin Baco, alias Ji­had, and Filipino bomb-maker Ba­sit Us­man.

In his af­fi­davit, Ma­ga­long

re­it­er­ated Aquino’s li­a­bil­ity for the killing of the 44 SAF com­man­dos.

Slap on wrist

In Au­gust, the SC lifted the tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der (TRO) over the lighter graft and usurpa­tion charges filed by Mo­rales against Aquino which she de­cided to ini­ti­ate in­stead of the reck­less im­pru­dence charges.

Prior to its lift­ing, the TRO had frozen pro­ceed­ings in charges in con­nec­tion with the ill-planned 25 Jan­uary 2015 Ma­mas­apano in­ci­dent which re­sulted in the death of 60 in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing 44 mem­bers of the SAF’s 55th Spe­cial Ac­tion Com­pany and the 84th Spe­cial Ac­tion Com­pany/ Seaborne, in an op­er­a­tion to serve war­rants on ter­ror­ists Mar­wan and Us­man.

The Sandi­gan­bayan then granted the mo­tion of Om­buds­man Sa­muel Mar­tires to pull out the graft and usurpa­tion charges against Aquino in con­nec­tion with the deaths of the 44 SAF mem­bers, cit­ing the ev­i­dence at hand was not enough for the case to pros­per.

Ma­ga­long par­tic­u­larly cited how Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas kept “Ex­o­dus” for them­selves un­til its ac­tual im­ple­men­ta­tion on 25 Jan­uary 2015 in Ma­mas­apano, Maguin­danao.

Worse, Purisima was then serv­ing a sus­pen­sion for graft and cor­rup­tion charges.

Ma­ga­long said the three de­lib­er­ately failed to in­form then PNP of­fi­cer-in­charge Leonardo Espina and In­te­rior and Lo­cal Govern­ment Sec­re­tary Mar

Roxas.

Neg­li­gent plan

He said the death of the SAF 44 could have been averted were it not for the “poor” and “neg­li­gent plan­ning and ex­e­cu­tion” of Oplan “Ex­o­dus.”

“Hence, it is im­por­tant that those pri­mar­ily in­volved in this tragedy should be held to an­swer for their crimes, so that there will be jus­tice and clo­sure for those who died,” said Ma­ga­long, a for­mer SAF commando and di­rec­tor of the PNP-Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion and De­tec­tion Group (CIDG).

“It is clearly ev­i­dent that Aquino, be­ing then the com­man­der-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines, should be held ac­count­able and re­spon­si­ble for the deaths of the SAF 44 troop­ers in the botched Oplan ‘Ex­o­dus’ in Ma­mas­apano,

Maguin­danao with Purisima and Napeñas in vi­o­la­tion of the chain of com­mand in the PNP,” he added.

Aquino was ini­tially charged with vi­o­la­tion of Repub­lic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Cor­rupt Prac­tices law and usurpa­tion of of­fi­cial func­tions un­der Ar­ti­cle 177 of the Re­vised Pe­nal Code.

The for­mer pres­i­dent pre­vi­ously de­nied any hand in Oplan “Ex­o­dus” and blamed Napeñas for the blun­der.

BAGUIO City Mayor Ben­jamin Ma­ga­long won’t rest un­til the true cul­prits be­hind the deaths of 44 Spe­cial Ac­tion Force com­man­dos are made an­swer­able in­clud­ing the com­man­der-in-chief Benigno Aquino III.

MA­GA­LONG

IN a rite missed by for­mer Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino right af­ter the 25 Jan­uary 2015 mas­sacre, mem­bers of the Spe­cial Ac­tion Force carry the re­mains of their fallen 44 com­rades.

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