Palace shrugs off dropped complaint vs GMA

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2013 04:15 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2013 12:15 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Monday kept mum on the decision of the Manila Prosecutors' Office to dismiss for lack of evidence a complaint for criminal negligence filed against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in relation to the Maguindanao massacre case.

"'Yan po ang assessment po ng Manila Prosecutor's Office so we will leave it at that. We have no further comment (on) that. The perpetrators are being prosecuted right now and ang hiling lang namin sana is ma-expedite, again, kung paano pabilisin ang hustisya sa mga biktima ng Maguindanao massacre," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) vice gubernatorial candidate Marconi Abdulaziz Paiso earlier 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.

The Manila Prosecutors’ Office, however, 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. With The Philippine Star