The Office of the Ombudsman has filed charges against former president Noynoy Aquino in the Sandiganbayan, in connection with the Oplan Exodus in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in January 2015.
Oplan Exodus was a mission to capture one of the most wanted terrorists, Zulkifli Binhir alias Marwan, but ended in losing forty-four members of the Special Action Force or the SAF 44.
The Ombudsman charged Aquino with violation of Section 3(a) of Republic Act 3109 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC); the provision on the usurpation of official functions.
The cases were filed before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan at 9:43 a.m. Wednesday, Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang confirmed, as disclosed by CNN.
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The Ombudsman said that “the Office finds probable cause that [former]President Aquino’s act of utilizing the services of the preventively suspended Purisima for Oplan Exodus” allegedly “caused Purisima to perform, under pretense of official position the acts pertaining to the PNP Chief without being lawfully entitled to do so, in violation of Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code on usurpation of official functions.”
In the separate information sheet for the graft charge, Ombudsman Assistant Special Prosecutor Reza M. Casila-Derayunan said Aquino “allowed himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced” to violate the PNP chain of command, the Ombudsman’s preventive suspension order against Purisima, and officer-in-charge PNP chief Leonardo Espina’s order against Purisima and other suspended police officials to cease and desist from performing duties and functions of their offices, according to Inquirer.
The Office of the Ombudsman recommended bail for Aquino at P40,000 or P30,000 for graft and P10,000 for usurpation of official functions.