- Widows of slain SAF members happy over former president’s indictment for Mamasapano
- They are hoping justice can finally be achieved for slain policemen
- They will also appeal Ombudsman’s dismissal of homicide raps against Aquino
MANILA, Philippines – Some widows of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos killed in Mamasapano expressed happiness over former president Benigno Aquino III’s indictment; saying it was one small step to attaining justice for their loved ones.
“I am happy with this development. I hope this will be the first step for us to achieve justice that we have been seeking for all this time,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Kristine Clemencio, widow of PO1 Mark Lory Clemencio, as saying.
Clemencio also appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to make good on his promise not to let the case be whitewashed.
For her part, Dr. Christine Cempron, widow of PO1 Romeo Cempron, said she hopes Aquino and former PNP chief Alan Purisima go to jail for her husband’s death.
“Among them, President Aquino and Purisima have the hardest hearts, as if they have not committed any lapses, as if nothing happened,” she added.
Cempron was aware, however, that it would take a long time for them to get justice.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing of usurpation of authority and graft charges against Aquino; saying he was liable for letting Purisima take charge over the ill-botched raid despite the latter’ suspended status at the time.
However, she dismissed the homicide raps against him — a decision the SAF 44’s kin will appeal.
“More than command responsibility, there is criminal negligence. Because of the utter negligence, there were people who died, counsel Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said.
Topacio, who said they will file the motion for reconsideration as soon as family members get the funds to travel to Manila and sign the papers, also lamented the dismissal as a missed chance to show the world that no one —not even a former president— is above the law.