By Cielito M. Reganit
President Rodrigo Duterte is hoping that justice will lastly be served to the 44 Special Action Force (PNP) police commandos who have been slain within the Mamasapano bloodbath, Malacañang stated Friday.
“The President recognizes the heroic sacrifice of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force 44, and it is his — and the nation’s — hope to finally bring justice to the victims and families of the Fallen 44 and put closure to the issue as part of the healing process,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella stated in an announcement.
Abella added that the Palace “respects the Ombudsman’s constitutional mandate to investigate public officials.”
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the submitting of legal charges in opposition to former President Benigno Aquino III in reference to the January 2015 tragedy.
Aquino was criminally charged for Usurpation of Authority (Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code) and violation of Section three(a) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).
Standing as his co-conspirators, are former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima and Director Getulio Napeñas of the SAF.
On Jan. 24, 2015, virtually 400 highly-trained SAF commandos launched Oplan Exodus to serve standing warrants of arrest in opposition to internationally-wanted terrorists Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan and Ahmad Akmad Uson in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
In the following firefight that lasted for a number of hours, 44 SAF troopers died within the line of obligation.
Aquino was extensively criticized for permitting suspended PNP chief Purisima not solely to take part within the planning, but additionally within the working of stated operation; and for breaking the chain of command amongst others.
In the investigation, Morales famous that President Aquino was absolutely conscious that the Office of the Ombudsman had positioned Purisima below preventive suspension through the planning and precise conduct of the operation.
“The fact remains that, at the time, particularly before and during the actual implementation of Oplan Exodus, Purisima was under preventive suspension, and that Purisima, despite being under preventive suspension, indeed played an active role in Oplan Exodus… to the point that he was exercising a degree of authority and discretion over Napeñas and consequently, over the operation,” reads the consolidated decision.
“… In other words, Purisima would not have been placed in such a position of continuing to conduct himself, in relation to Oplan Exodus, in a manner as if he was not under preventive suspension at that time, from his position as PNP chief, were it not for the complicity and influence of President Aquino,” the grievance learn. (PNA)