Ombudsman gives Pnoy, co-accused 5 days to appeal charges

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Former President Benigno Aquino III and two former police officials are given five days to file an appeal regarding the order of the Ombudsman to charge them for their role in the tragic anti-terror operation in Maguindanao in 2015 that  left 44 police commandos dead.

Quoting Atty.  Mary Rawnsle Lopez, acting director of the Office of the Ombudsman public information office, dzBB’s Manny Vargas said Saturday that Aquino or anyone of his co-accused former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force Director Getulio Napenas, has until Wednesday, July 19, to file a motion for reconsideration.

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Atty. Lopez was also quoted as saying that the Ombudsman will look into the appeal of the accused before pushing through with the filing of the recommended charges.

Failure to file a motion for reconsideration on the part the respondents would allow the Office of the Ombudsman to proceed at once with the filing of charges against them.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing of charges against Aquino on Friday for his alleged role in the anti-terrorist operation in Mamasapano town that left 44 Special Action Force troops dead, a tragic incident that has since become known as “SAF 44.”

Aquino, together with  Purisima and Nepeñas, will be charged with usurpation of authority under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code and violation of Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

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Some 400 SAF troopers went to Mamasapano, Maguindanao on the midnight of January 24, 2015 in pursuit of wanted terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan.

The operation, dubbed as Oplan Exodus, neutralized Marwan but also resulted in an encounter with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Forty-four troopers of the PNP’s elite team perished as they were moving out of the area.

The charges came from consolidated complaints filed by SAF 44 families and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption in 2016 after Aquino finished his term.

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