F.Pres Aquino wants to suspend the Mamasapano proceedings suspended

F.Pres Aquino wants to suspend the Mamasapano proceedings suspended

Is the Aquino camp delaying the proceedings?

Former President Benigno Aquino III has formally asked the Sandiganbayan to suspend the proceedings on criminal cases filed against him in connection with the infamous Mamasapano massacre of members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces.

It might be remembered that it was on January 25, 2015, that high vakue target Marwan was neutralized by the government forces spearheaded by the elite troops of the PNP, but the operation resulted to the death of more than 60 people including the 44 members of the SAF.  *
Former President Benigno Aquino III during the tribute for the 44 fallen members of the PNP-SAF in Camp Bagong Diwa (photo credit to owner) 

In the three page motion filed before the court's 4th Division on February 5, Aquino, through lawyers Romeo Johann Fernandez and Cielo Marjorie Goño, said it is premature to start with the proceedings while his motion to quash the cases remains pending.

“If the Motion to Quash Informations is granted, all incidents and proceedings taken in the meantime will be rendered moot,” Aquino's motion read.

 Former President Aquino pointed out that even the respective motions to quash of his co-accused, former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former PNP- Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) director Getulio Napeñas Jr., have yet to be resolved by the court.

 Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas are facing before the 4th Division one count each of violation of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices, and usurpation of official functions under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code.

The cases stemmed from Aquino’s alleged act of allowing the suspended PNP Chief Allan Purisima to participate in the planning and implementation of Oplan Exodus, the botched police operation aimed to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir — alias Marwan — and Filipino bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman.

As of date, only the former PNP Chief had been arraigned of the cases, to which he entered a plea of not guilty.  *

The arraignment of the former president was supposed to on February 15, the Sandiganbayan also gave Aquino’s camp until February 5 to submit a pre-trial brief which must contain the list of witnesses and documentary exhibits they intend to present during the trial proper.

In his motion, however, the former president said that “due to the pendency of his motion to quash [case] informations, Mr. Aquino believes that the filing of a pre-trial brief is premature”.

In Aquino’s motion to quash filed last January 4 Aquino argued that merely allowing Purisima to be present during the planning of Oplan Exodus cannot constitute usurpation of official functions nor a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Aquino states  that in his “lawful exercise of his Presidential powers”, he can utilize the services of Purisima for Oplan Exodus “prior to and during its implementation” as well to “ease out” then PNP acting chief Leonardo Espina and then Secretary of Interior and Local Government Manuel Roxas III from Oplan Exodus.

Report from PhilStar



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