MANILA, Philippines - The complaint for criminal negligence filed against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in relation to the Maguindanao massacre case was dismissed by the Manila Prosecutors’ Office for lack of evidence.
In a one-page resolution by Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Raymunda Cruz-Apolo, Assistant City Prosecutor Wilbur Arimboyutan said nothing in the evidence presented would show that Arroyo should be held liable for criminal negligence for the 2009 massacre in her capacity as president and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) vice gubernatorial candidate Marconi Abdulaziz Paiso filed the complaint against Arroyo for allegedly failing to fulfill her duties as president and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces to prevent the Maguindanao massacre that left 58 people dead.
Paiso argued Arroyo’s “inaction, ignorance and perhaps tolerance have fueled the tense political situation” that led to the incident.
The Manila Prosecutors’ Office said there is nothing to show that Arroyo was negligent in her duties that could have prevented the mass murder.
“(T)here is no evidence presented to show criminal negligence on the part of the respondent. The allegations made are more of generalizations and conclusions without supporting proof to show personal culpability of the respondent,” the resolution said.
The prosecutors said the negligent acts attributed to Arroyo “has no direct causal connection nor even proximate cause of the Maguindanao massacre.”
A similar complaint seeking damages has been filed against Arroyo by relatives of 15 of the victims of the massacre.
Their lawyers led by UP law professor Harry Roque argued the massacre could have been prevented by Arroyo had she had not allowed the Ampatuans to reign over Maguindanao.
Roque said Arroyo, during her term as President, gave legality to the Ampatuans’ alleged private army and the resources allegedly used in carrying out the massacre on Nov. 23, 2009.