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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, July 17, 2017
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‘Let legal system work
in case versus Aquino'

“Let's trust in the legal system.”

That was the reaction of Negros Occidental Board Member Alain GatuslaotoOmbudsmanConchitaCarpio Morales' order tofile criminal charges against former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III in connection with the Mamasapano massacre.

Morales ordered the filing of charges against Aquino for Usurpation of Authority (Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code) and violation of Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).  Standing as his co-conspirators, are former Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima and Director GetulioNapeñas of the Special Action Force.  

On Jan. 24, 2015, almost 400 highly-trained commandos belonging to the elite Special Action Force, unilaterally launched Oplan Exodus to serve standing warrants of arrest against internationally-wanted terrorists, Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan, and Ahmad AkmadUson in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. In the ensuing firefight that lasted for several hours, 44 SAF troopers died in the line of duty.

“We have to trust our legal institutions on these matters. If then President PNoy did in fact coordinate the Mamasapano operation with a then-suspended Purisima, then he should be indicted. Let his guilt or innocence be decided at the Sandiganbayan,” Gatuslao said.

“I wish Pnoy well in his legal battle,” Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said.

Former Negros Occidental Gov. Rafael Coscolluela said there is "too much speculation going around. I just hope they resolve the issue one way or the other so that there's final closure. I can't make any judgment one way or the other.”

Yves Akol, Negros Island Region PDP Laban secretary general, said it's all a drama because Morales cannot bite the fingers of her former boss (Aquino), nothing will happen.

 According to the complainants, the criminal negligence of Aquino is based on his participation and assistance in the planning of Oplan Exodus with gross and inexcusable negligence; approving the operation with full knowledge that it was flawed; for allowing suspended PNP Chief Purisima not only to participate in the planning, but also in the running of the operation, thereby giving pseudo-legal power to a suspended official; and breach in the established norms inherent in a chain of command.*CPG  



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