Palace won't touch Ombudsman withdrawal of graft, usurpation raps vs Aquino

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2019 05:53 PM

MANILA - Malacañang will not interfere with the Ombudsman's decision to withdraw graft and usurpation charges against former President Benigno Aquino III in connection with the 2015 Mamasapano massacre, a Palace official said Saturday.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires earlier said there was "no sufficient ground and evidence" to charge Aquino for the deaths of 44 Special Action Force troopers who were killed due to the lack of coordination between the police and the military.

"The Palace doesn’t interfere with the other branches of the government as well as constitutional bodies," Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

"They have their assigned constitutional functions. They should freely perform their given constitutional tasks without interference from anyone or entity," he said.

The Sandiganbayan 4th Division, which is handling the Mamasapano cases, is scheduled to hear the Ombudsman's motion to withdraw on July 12.

Prior to Martires' announcement, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and the Office of Solicitor General urged the Ombudsman to charge the former president with multiple homicide instead of graft and usurpation of power.