Topacio to file motion to reopen probe of Mamasapano case
MANILA, Philippines — A lawyer is planning to file a motion before the Office of the Ombudsman to reopen the investigation on the Mamasapano case.
Atty. Ferdinand Topacio on Wednesday said he will file a motion on Thursday for the reopening of the case against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director-General Alan Purisima and retired Special Action Forces (SAF) Director Getulio Napeñas.
“Last November 8, 2019, I was accompanied by Mayor [Benjamin] Magalong who was already then Mayor of Baguio. He executed an affidavit giving new evidence to charge [former President Benigno “Noynoy”] Aquino, Napeñas, and Purisima of crimes,” Topacio said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
Magalong is the former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief.
“Kaya I intend to file tomorrow a motion, a reiterative motion for the Ombudsman to reopen the case even as against Napeñas and Purisima kasi wala na nga po si Pangulong Noynoy Aquino (because Aquino is not here anymore). Para lang magkaroon ng hustisya, imbestigahan niyo naman (To have justice, investigate it),” Topacio added.
The lawyer recalled that then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales lodged cases of usurpation of authority and graft against Aquino.
“How can a sitting president usurp authority? He has all the executive authority in the country as provided for in the Constitution,” Topacio asked.
“These charges — I’m accusing Conchita Carpio-Morales on record — were meant to fail,” he continued.
In 2015, the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao killed 44 SAF commandos by rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, splinter group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and various private armed groups.
The two top police officials were also charged at the Sandiganbayan in 2017 for bypassing the chain of command in planning the botched operation.
Kin of slain commandos petitioned the High Court, asking that Aquino be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. Solicitor General Jose Calida supported the petition.
In 2018, just before Aquino, Purisima, and Napeñas were to be arraigned on the reckless imprudence case, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO).
Ombudsman Samuel Martires then moved to withdraw the remaining cases against the former president before the Sandiganbayan. His request was granted when the TRO was lifted after six months.