Sandigan to hear Ombudsman’s plea to withdraw cases vs Aquino
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan is set to hear on July 5 the motion of the Office of the Ombudsman to withdraw graft and usurpation charges filed against former President Benigno Aquino III, sources said.
Aquino is facing cases before the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division due to his alleged involvement in the botched Mamasapano clash in 2016, which left 44 police commandos from the Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) dead.
The anti-graft court confirmed on June 29 the motion of Ombudsman Samuel Martires to withdraw the charges against Aquino, as he has not found any sufficient ground to charge the former president.
The charges were filed by Martires’ predecessor, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales — who was appointed by Aquino himself.
Aquino allegedly conspired with former SAF chief Brig. Gen. Getulio Napeñas and his friend, former PNP Chief Gen. Alan Purisima, who was under dismissal during the time of the operation.
The 44 SAF officers were part of the teams that were dispatched in a so-called Oplan Exodus, targetting Malaysian terrorist and bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan” and Filipino Basit Usman.
Only Marwan was killed during the said operation. Usman, however, was killed in a succeeding encounter. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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