Palace distances from SC lifting of TRO on Aquino Mamasapano trial
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang distanced itself from the Supreme Court decision lifting the temporary restraining order on the Mamasapano trial against fomer president Benigno Aquino III.
“In accordance with the policy that has long been practiced by this Administration, we refuse to comment on the action undertaken by the Supreme Court, which belongs to a separate and independent branch of government from ours,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement Friday.
“We cannot and we do not intend to interfere with the functions of other branches which are distinct from the Executive,” he added.
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said “the President and this administration will always give deference to and uphold the rule of law regardless of the political and social stature of those involved in cases pending before the judiciary.”
“We believe that the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan can tackle this matter with independence pursuant to their respective mandates,” he said.
“As these institutions afford each citizen his or her constitutional guarantees under the Bill of Rights, we expect the latter to respect the proceedings and bow to the majesty of the law,” he added. “We will, as usual, let the law take its course.”
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 due to the 2015 botched Mamasapano operation
The high tribunal issued a TRO in February 2018 just before Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas were to be arraigned.
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