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Ombudsman drops charges vs Aquino

The Office of the Ombudsman has withdrawn the graft and usurpation charges it had filed against former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in connection with the botched Mamasapano operation that resulted in the death of 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) and several civilians.

The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division confirmed that Ombudsman Samuel Martires filed a motion to withdraw information on Monday.

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According to the motion, the Ombudsman found no sufficient ground and evidence to charge Aquino for graft and usurpation of official functions.

However, in the same motion, the Ombudsman asked that the Sandiganbayan allow the withdrawal “without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges against the accused after the conduct of preliminary investigation.”

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The motion has been set for hearing on July 12.

The charges against Aquino were earlier filed in 2017, under the authority of then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.

In the earlier indictment, Morales, an Aquino appointee, said there was probable cause to file charges against Aquino “in conspiracy” with dismissed Philippine National Police Gen. Alan Purisima and sacked Director Getulio Napeñas of the SAF.

Aquino has yet to be arraigned for the aforementioned charges, owing to the decision of the Supreme Court to temporarily halt the proceedings at the antigraft court.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Graft, Ombudsman, SAF
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