- President slammed predecessor’s indictment by Ombudsman
- He said charges stupid, calibrated to fail
- He explained Aquino cannot be charged for usurpation due to former position
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte slammed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ indictment of his predecessor Benigno Aquino III; saying the charges were stupid and designed to ultimately fail.
“Bugok man iyang rekomendasyon na iyan [That recommendation is stupid]. The charges are there to ensure its failure,” GMA News quoted him as saying.
In her resolution, Morales said Aquino was liable for usurpation of authority and graft for allowing then-PNP chief Alan Purisima to take charge of the botched Mamasapano operation despite the latter’s suspended status.
However, Duterte said Aquino could not possibly be held liable for usurpation owing to his authority as the Chief Executive at the time.
“Charging Aquino for that, silly. My term. It is a silly charge. Kasi iyong mga [Because those] failure, usurpation, those positions, when the President assumes the role there, sabihin niya [h would say], ‘O, I take over,’ iyong role mo whatever na in-usurp [whatever is your role that is usurped] is perfectly legal because it is the President, he said. “The President has control of all departments, Cabinet. Control because he has the power to override or change or amend your order.”
“He was not usurping. He did not took an oath there and said I am assuming. Wala [No way]. He was just being consulted kaya iyong charge kay [thus the charge against] Aquino will fail,” Duterte added.
Several groups have also criticized the charges as a ploy to eventually clear Aquino of any liability in the operation which claimed the lives of 44 Special Action Force members.
In the same resolution, Morales also junked the homicide raps against Aquino; saying the direct and proximate cause of the SAF 44’s deaths were the Moro rebels and bandits they engaged.