BREAK: SC lifts suspension on Aquino trial
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has lifted the hindrance on the possible withdrawal of criminal case against former President Benigno Aquino III in connection with the deaths of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in 2015.
Sources confirmed that the justices have voted the lifting of the temporary restraining order during Tuesday’s en banc (full court) session.
In 2017, the Office of the Ombudsman indicted Aquino, together with former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force Director Getulio Napeñas for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for their role in the disastrous Mamasapano operation. However, they were cleared of the more serious charge of reckless imprudence.
Relatives of the slain commandos went to the Supreme Court asking that it order the Ombudsman to reinstate the reckless imprudence case against the former Presidenr. The Office of the Solicitor General supported the move of the families saying then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ act was a “wanton disregard of the sufficiency of evidence.”
A restraining order was then issued in February last year.
Then, when retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires took over as Ombudsman, he moved to withdraw the indictment. But the Sandiganbayan said it will wait for the Supreme Court to lift the restraining order before acting on the Ombudsman’s move. /muf
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