February 24, 2018, 10:41 pm
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Moms of slain SAF men press charges vs Aquino

THE mothers of two police commandos killed in police operations in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in January 2015 are asking the Supreme Court to nullify the Ombudsman’s decision dismissing the charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide they filed against former president Benigno Aquino III and several others.

Petitioners Felicitas Nacino and Helen Ramacula, mothers of PO2 Nicky Nacino Jr. and PO2 Rodel Ramacula, said Aquino is guilty of “intentionally” breaking the chain of command and of negligence, which eventually led to the deaths of the 44 commandos of the PNP Special Action Force.

The two also named former PNP chief Alan Purisima, former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas Jr., and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales as respondents.

The petition was filed last Monday, two days before the Ombudsman charged Aquino with graft and usurpation of authority, for allowing Purisima to play a major role in the operation despite the fact that Purisima was serving a suspension order issued by the Ombudsman.

In July, the Ombudsman indicted Aquino for usurpation of authority and graft but dismissed the charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and physical injuries. Aquino appealed but the Ombudsman affirmed its findings in September.  

Mrs. Nacino and Ramacula said Aquino knew fully well that Purisima was under preventive suspension and that it was Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina who was serving as PNP chief and as such had the authority to oversee the preparation and conduct of “Oplan Exodus” which targeted Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, but he bypassed the chain of command by allowing Purisima to intervene in the preparation of the mission.

The petitioners also asked the SC to direct the Ombudsman to file criminal charges against Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas.

Napenas has maintained he did not violate any order when he did not coordinate with the military in the execution of Oplan Exodus because he believed then the military in the area was compromised.

Forty-four SAF commandos were killed on Jan. 25, 2015 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in a clash with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and criminal groups. 

The MILF said 18 of its men were also killed in the day-long gun battle. The DOJ has filed charges of direct assault with murder, and theft against 90 MILF men and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed group members before the Cotabato regional trial court.
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