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Philippines: Ex-President Charged For Botched 2015 Raid

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Former President Benigno Aquino III allowed suspended police chief to help plan raid, says ombudsman

The Philippines’ ombudsman has indicted former President Benigno Aquino III over his alleged role in the botched 2015 Mamasapano operation that cost the lives of 44 commandos.

In a statement on Friday to reporters in Manila, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said she had ordered the filing of criminal charges against Aquino for his liability in the Mamasapano massacre.

In the Mamasapano incident, 44 Special Action Force commandos were killed in a clash with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and a private armed group.

Morales said Aquino will be charged with usurpation of authority under the Revised Penal Code as well as under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, according to GMA news online.

Co-accused in the case are former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former Special Forces Director Getulio Napenas, it said.

According to Morales, the investigation showed that Aquino was aware that Purisima had been preventively suspended pending a graft indictment, but still allowed him to take part in planning the Mamasapano raid, reported news website Inquirer.

“Certainly a public officer who is under preventive suspension is barred from performing any public functions and from meddling into the affairs of the government,” she said.

Morales said it is because of Aquino’s influence and permission that Purisima was able to participate in the raid’s planning despite his preventive suspension.

Napeñas and Purisima were also formally charged with usurpation of powers and graft for bypassing the police chain of command in the botched operation.

 

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