READ: Noynoy Aquino to face homicide charges over SAF44 Massacre

Metro Manila— The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) asked the Supreme Court to order the filing of homicide charges against former President Benigno Aquino III and two former police officials over the bloody Mamasapano encounter in January 2015.

According to its 45-page manifestation, the OSG asked the high court "to direct the Office of the Ombudsman to file forty-four (44) counts of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide against each of the respondents, Aquino, Purisima, and Napeñas."

It further asked the court to "annul, reverse or set aside" the Ombudsman resolution of June 13, 2017 that "dismissed the complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide" against Aquino, former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Alan Purisima and PNP-Special Action Forces (SAF) Commander Getulio Napeñas Jr.

"Clearly... respondent office of the Ombudsman, in dismissing the complaint for reckless imprudence against prime respondents, acted without or in excess of its authority," it said.

It also asked for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction preventing their February 15 arraignment before the Sandiganbayan.

The three are currently facing graft and corruption, and usurpation or unlawful use of authority charges. The OSG manifestation will effectively revive and upgrade the charges to homicide, which the Ombudsman resolution dismissed.

The OSG said Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas are all liable for the deaths of 44 members of the PNP-SAF, known as the SAF 44, on January 25, 2015.

"Respondents' liability is grounded on the faulty planning and execution of Oplan Exodus. This is regardless of the presence of hostile forces in the battle ground," it said.

It said, Aquino's criminal negligence was in his "active participation and direct involvement" in the planning of Oplan Exodus, which he approved with "full knowledge."

"In view of Aquino's full knowledge of the details of Oplan Exodus and his subsequent approval thereof, he acted with inexcusable negligence which was the direct proximate cause in the massacre of SAF 44," it said.

The manifestation added, Aquino contributed to further confusion during the operations when he involved then-suspended Purisima in the operation "without giving a clear picture" on the latter's authority.

Purisima was under preventive suspension at the time of the encounter. However, text messages presented at a Senate hearing in February 2015 showed Aquino and Purisima discussed the operation on January 25.

The OSG "respectfully submitted" that Ombudsman was "not correct" when it ruled it was the proximate cause of the SAF 44's death was the "intentional act of shooting" by hostile forces, and not the alleged negligent acts of Purisima.

It said the people of the Philippines "will suffer grave and irreparable injury" if no injunctive relief is issued on the case.

In setting aside the earlier homicide case, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales then said Aquino was wrong in allowing Purisima to play a major role in the Mamasapano operation even as the PNP chief was under preventive suspension

Aquino posted a P40,000 bail to secure his provisional liberty even as the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan was yet to order his arrest.

The SAF 44 were killed after an encounter with Moro rebels in the town of Mamasapano in Maguindanao, despite a ceasefire. They were on a mission to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias "Marwan."

At least 18 rebels and five civilians were also killed in the botched operation.

Source: CNN Philippines


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