By Czarina Nicole Ong
Bad news for former President Benigno Aquino III: The Office of the Ombudsman has denied his motion for reconsideration (MR) hoping to drop his graft and usurpation complaint in connection with the deaths of the ill-fated 44 SAF troopers in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
In a consolidated order signed on September 11, 2017, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales denied his motion for reconsideration (MR) and ruled that the Consolidated Resolution dated June 13, 2017, which will charge him together with former Police Director Chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas, will stand.
Morales found probable cause to indict Aquino since the latter utilized the services of a suspended police chief in carrying out Oplan Exodus. Morales said that conferring with Purisima required acts of persuasion and influence, which therefore caused Purisima to violate his suspension.
“While a President of the Republic is certainly possessed with broad discretionary powers, the exercise thereof must not, however, be done in violation of a law or laws, much less when such exercise constitutes a crime,” the Ombudsman said in the order. “A government of laws, not of men, excludes the exercise of broad discretionary powers by those acting under its authority.”
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