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OMBUDSMAN’S WOES

Mamasapano case delay: Records exec faces probe

/ 01:54 AM May 01, 2017

A records officer of the Office of the Ombudsman is now being investigated over the seven-month delay in the filing of criminal cases for the deaths of 44 elite police officers during a mission to capture international terrorist Marwan in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao province.

This developed as the graft investigating body wrestles with a recent spike in high-profile losses at the antigraft court Sandiganbayan, which has thrown out charges over “inordinate delays” at the investigation stage.

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Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales confirmed that Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) records officer Alma Cagat-Cagat is facing proceedings at the Internal Affairs Board (IAB), chaired by Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Gerard Mosquera.

Asked by the Inquirer about the possible sanctions against Cagat-Cagat, Mosquera said she might “hypothetically” face dismissal if proven to have caused the delay.

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“Theoretically, the offense could be gross neglect of duty and also grave misconduct if the neglect is gross and grave in nature and hypothetically, these offenses, if proven, carry the penalty of dismissal from service,” Mosquera said.

Morales said in a Jan. 25 interview that Cagat-Cagat had been ordered to explain why the charges in relation to the January 2015 Mamasapano mission were not filed after Morales denied the appeal of the accused in June 2016.

Mosquera did not disclose Cagat-Cagat’s response to the show-cause order, citing the confidentiality of IAB proceedings.

But an Ombudsman source said Morales removed Cagat-Cagat from her position as records officer, although she still works for the OSP. The issue also cost her the promotion to a lawyer position.

The charges against dismissed Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima and retired Special Action Forces Director Getulio Napeñas for graft and usurpation of authority were brought to court only on Jan. 24, on the eve of the second anniversary of the Mamasapano debacle.

At the time, Morales admitted the delay was discovered only after a television reporter sought updates for an anniversary report.

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TAGS: Mamasapano, Marwan, Office of the Ombudsman, Philippine news updates, SAF 44
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