outbrain
Close  

Sandiganbayan junks graft, usurpation raps vs Purisima, Napeñas

/ 05:20 PM January 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan on Tuesday dismissed for lack of probable cause the charges of usurpation of authority and graft against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force (SAF) head Getulio Napeñas.

In a resolution, Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division said the Informations charging Purisima and Napeñas, along with former president Benigno Aquino III, for their role in the botched Oplan Exodus was insufficient to merit a conviction.

ADVERTISEMENT

Under Oplan Exodus, Napeñas led SAF troopers in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in an attempt to capture Malaysian terrorists and bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan. The plan was conceived by Purisima, who was under direct orders from Aquino despite his suspension.

SAF officers managed to kill Marwan, but at the expense of 44 troopers who died under heavy fire from combined Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter rebels.

FEATURED STORIES

Aquino has been acquitted in the case after the Office of the Ombudsman withdrew the charges last August 2019, with Ombudsman Samuel Martires claiming that no president should be charged with usurpation over the functions of his subordinates — in this case, Purisima and Napeñas.

“The Information in the latter case should be read in conjunction with the Information filed against Purisima and Napeñas.  In the Information in SB-17-CRM-2145, the act of ‘usurpation’ was primarily attributed to then-President Aquino,” division chair and Associate Justice Alex Quiroz said in the resolution.

“As mentioned earlier, however, the case against Aquino had already been dismissed by the Court. Considering that it was then President Aquino who gave the subject orders to accused Purisima and considering further that the former could not have usurped the functions of the PNP Chief, it is but logical to conclude that the Information do not constitute the crime charged,” the court added.

READ: SAF 44 and ‘Oplan Exodus’ in Mamasapano, Maguindanao 

READ: Sandigan grants Ombudsman’s bid to drop graft, usurpation raps vs Aquino

READ: Incumbent presidents can’t be sued for usurpation of power – Martires

Napeñas’ lawyer has previously questioned why the Ombudsman only exempted Aquino, while their cases were not dismissed despite merely following the ex-president’s orders.

ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption — the group responsible for the filing of the case against Aquino, sided with Martires in withdrawing the case.

According to lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, the case was merely a cover-up, as it was meant by former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to fail.

Morales was appointed by Aquino as Ombudsman in 2011.

READ: Retired SAF chief’s lawyer asks Ombudsman: Why exempt Aquino

READ: Anti-crime group agrees with Ombudsman’s decision to drop graft raps vs Aquino

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: ‎Alan Purisima, Fourth Division, Getulio Napeñas, Mamasapano, Oplan Exodus, Philippine news updates, President Benigno Aquino III, SAF, SAF 44, Sandiganbayan, Special Action Force
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.