The Office of the Ombudsman has denied the appeal of former President Benigno S. Aquino III to drop charges of usurpation of authority and violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act over the Mamasapano clash in 2015.
The ombudsman released its 26-page decision, stating that there is probable cause to charge the former chief executive before the Sandiganbayan.
“In sum, the finding of probable cause against President Aquino in relation to his participation in the violation of Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code (Usurpation of Official Functions) and Section 3(a) of the Republic Act 3019 still stands,” the Ombudsman ruled.
Aquino stated in his motion that the indictment was a “misappreciation of facts and specious application of the law”.
In a resolution that was signed and approved by Ombudsan Conchita Carpio Morales, the ombudsman also rejected the former chief executive’s claim that he was not given the opportunity “to adequately address and refute the charges”.
The ombudsman reiterated that, “any negligence during the planning, preparation and actual implementation of Oplan Exodus was subsequently broken by the occurrence of an efficient intervening cause,”
Aside from Aquino, the former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former PNP-Special Action Force Director was also included in the decision.
Aquino will meet his legal team says Abigail Valte, spokeswoman of the former president.
“After a considered evaluation of the arguments raised by the movants vis-a-vis the evidence on record, the Office finds no cogent reason to reverse or modify the assailed resolution,” the ombudsman’s new decision read.
“To this Office, President Aquino’s act of utilizing the services of Purisima for Oplan Exodus set into motion the latter’s participation and involvement therein prior to and during its implementation,” the ombudsman added.