Aquino appeals charges over Mamasapano carnage


Posted at Jul 19 2017 04:15 PM

Former president Benigno S. Aquino III at the Calbayog City Sports Center in Barangay Capoocan, Calbayog City, Samar on April 18, 2016. Lauro Montellano, Jr., Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA - Former president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III filed Wednesday a motion for reconsideration over charges filed against him by the Ombudsman over a botched anti-terror raid in Maguindanao province in 2015 that left 44 police commandos killed.

Aquino's former deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte confirmed the filing of the appeal but refused to release a copy of the motion to the media.

Last Friday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered Aquino charged with usurpation of authority and violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act, the investigating body said in a statement.

Also included in the charges were Aquino's former national police chief, retired Director General Alan Purisima and the former chief of the police Special Action Force, retired Director Getulio Napeñas.

Aquino on Monday said he was surprised by the charges filed by the Ombudsman.

"Definitely [surprised]. But I want to make sure…sabi ko, was I ever charged for this offense or was there a complaint ever filed? And my lawyers responded: There was no such complaint. So to get a decision on something you were not aware you were complaint about, and you never had the opportunity to respond to really was a surprise," he said in an interview with The Philippine Star.

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) on Wednesday asked the Ombudsman to reconsider the filing of charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and usurpation of authority against Aquino over the Mamasapano incident.

The group said Aquino, Purisima, and Napeñas were "principally responsible for the deaths of the 44 SAF personnel" according to investigations led by the Senate and the Board of Inquiry of the Philippine National Police.