Mom of slain SAF trooper in Mamasapano viral video sues Aquino

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2016 05:01 PM | Updated as of Aug 12 2016 06:20 PM

Former president Benigno Aquino III. File Photo

MANILA - A third batch of relatives filed a complaint Friday against former president Benigno Aquino III, former police chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Forces director Getulio Napenas for their alleged role in the botched Mamasapano raid.

Over sixty people died, including 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) commandos, in the Philippine National Police's operation to arrest top international terrorists Marwan and Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015.

The complaint filed before the Ombudsman contains the same set of accusations, and only differed on the name of the SAF relatives who stood as complainants.

The third batch of complainants are Telly Sumbilla, mother of PO3 John Lloyd Sumbilla, Helen Ramacula, mother of PO2 Rodel Ramacula, and Lorna Sagonoy, mother of PO1 Joseph Sagonoy.

Sagonoy is the SAF trooper whose brutal death was captured in a video. The video shows Sagonoy, fighting for his life, being shot in the face.

The first complainants are Erlina Allaga, mother of PO3 Robert Dommolog Aliaga, and Warlito Mejia, father of PO2 Ephraim Mejia, while the second batch of complainants are Julie Faustino Danao, mother of PO2 Walner Danao; Celestino Kiangan, father of PO2 Noble Kiangan; and Felecitas Nacino, mother of PO2 Nicky Nacino.

The relatives of slain SAF commandos and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption want the Ombudsman to investigate the liabilities of the former president and the other officials in the death of the 44 troopers.

As then chief executive of the country and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the complainants said Aquino indirectly caused the death of the SAF commandos by approving Oplan Exodus, despite knowing that it was flawed, and for breaching the PNP's chain of command.

The complainants added, Aquino must also be held criminally liable after allowing then suspended Purisima to plan of Oplan: Exodus while keeping the operations from then PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina, thereby breaking the chain of command.

READ: 'PNoy, Purisima, Napenas violated chain of command'

The complainants also want Purisima and Napeñas indicted for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide. They said, their "deliberate acts of imprudence, inexcusable negligence and lack of foresight and precaution" caused the death of the policemen.

The slain policemen's mothers became emotional as they cry for justice.

"Hinihingi ko lang, mabigyan ng justice ang SAF 44, lalo na ang aking anak," Ramacula said. "Tuwing maalala ko ang ganutong pagkakataon, hindi ako nagpalaki ng anak para patayin ng ganoon."

"Hindi pera, hustisya lang, para makaganti kami," Sagonoy said.

Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, who stands as their legal counsel, said the complaints came in batches because the VACC lack funds to bring the families to Metro Manila together. Aside from this, Topacio said four widows failed to appear on Friday due to threats to their lives.

"Palagay ko may capability pa kasi itong mga akusado na gumalaw ng ganoon. Not that I'm accusing them, but sino ba namang gagawa niyan di ba?" Topacio said.