- Senator noted benefit given to former president after indictment over Mamasapano role
- She said trial to allow him an opportunity to air his side
- She also urged Aquino to defend himself if he truly believes he had no fault over the tragedy
MANILA, Philippines – With former president Benigno Aquino III set to face raps over his role in the Mamasapano raid, Sen. Grace Poe said the ensuing trial will allow him an opportunity to defend himself and air his side.
“Let us allow the mandated legal institutions to perform their duties as they act on this case and allow the former president to present his defense,” the statement on Senate website disclosed.
Poe, whose committee on public order and dangerous drugs investigated the incident, urged Aquino to go along with the legal processes if he truly believes he is innocent.
“If you have no fault in the matter then you should defend yourself,” she said.
While urging the public to respect the outcome of the investigation and litigation, Poe evinced her hope for justice to be finally attained for the 44 Special Action Force policemen who died in the operation and their families.
“In the end we should respect whatever the outcome will be, so we, as a nation will be able to put closure to this incident,” she said. “However, we do hope that in the end, justice will truly be served.”
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Aquino was liable for usurpation of authority and graft for allowing former PNP chief Alan Purisima to direct the operation despite knowing the latter’s suspended status at the time. However, she junked the homicide raps against Aquino; saying that Moro rebels —not him— were directly and proximately liable for the deaths of the troopers.
Her resolution has drawn mixed reactions; with some groups decrying her decision to junk the homicide charges against the former president.