Ex-President Benigno Aquino charged by the Ombudsman

Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino 3rd has been charged by the Office of the Ombudsman with corruption and usurpation of official functions in connection with the bungled police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015, that resulted in the death of 44 elite commandos, according to the Manila Times Online on Wednesday (Nov 8).

The Ombudsman said in part that “the Office finds probable cause that (former) President Aquino’s act of utilizing the services of the preventively suspended Purisima for Oplan Exodus” allegedly caused Purisima to perform, under pretense of official position the acts pertaining to the PNP Chief without being lawfully entitled to do so, in violation of Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code on
usurpation of official functions.

The police operation, known as Oplan Exodus, was aimed at capturing Marwan and his protégé, Abdulbasit Usman. Marwan was killed while Usman escaped.

Over 60 people, including 44 elite police commandos, were killed in the ensuing gunbattle.

Ombusman Conchita Carpio Morales approved a consolidated resolution that found probable cause to charge Aquino in conspiracy with Philippine National Police director-general Alan Purisima and former PNP-Special Action Force director Getulio Napenas. The two police officers were earlier charged with the same offences before the Sandiganbayan.

Purisima was suspended by the Ombudsman for six months in December 2014 by the Ombudsman pending an investigation into the allegedly anomalous courier deal forged by the PNP with Werfast Documentation Agency Inc in 2011. The PNP terminated the deal in 2014.

Aquino sought reconsideration of the resolution, but the Ombudsman denied it in a consolidated order.