Palace hopes justice to be finally served for SAF 44 after Ombudsman orders filing of criminal raps vs Aquino
Malacanang expressed hope on Friday justice could finally be served for the death of 44 police commandos during an anti-terrorism operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2014.
This was after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing of criminal charges against former President Benigno Aquino III for his alleged liability in the Mamasapano massacre.
"We respect the Ombudsman's constitutional mandate to investigate public officials," said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a statement.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte recognized the "heroic sacrifice" of the 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force.
"(A)nd it is his (Duterte's) - and the nation's - hope to finally bring justice to the victims and families of the Fallen 44 and put closure to the issue as part of the healing process," Abella said.
In January this year, Duterte met with the families of some of the slain SAF commandos in Malacanang and promised them that justice would be served.
He also extended additional assistance to the relatives of the killed policemen and declared January 25 as the "Day of National Remembrance" for the SAF 44. All the slain police commandos were also conferred with the Distinguished Conduct Medal award.
In a resolution issued on Friday, Carpio alleged Aquino, along with former Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima and Director Getulio Napenas of SAF, was criminally liable for usurpation of authority and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
This was after Aquino allegedly allowed Purisima, who was suspended when the anti-terrorism Oplan Exodus was launched, to play a major role in the botched operation against international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Ahmad Akmad Uson. Marwan was killed in the operation, while Uson managed to escape, but also killed in another operation.
However, 44 SAF troopers, while withdrawing encountered other bandits as well as the members of the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front. They died in the incident. Celerina Monte/DMS