The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking to charge former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III with homicide over the Mamasapano incident in 2015.
“The petition is dismissed. The Ombudsman’s Consolidated Resolution dates June 13, 2017 and Consolidated order dated September 5, 2017…are affirmed insofar as they found no probable cause to charge private respondents,” the high court said in its decision on the petition seeking to charge Aquino as well as former Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima and former PNP-Special Action Forces Commander Getulio Napeñas Jr. with “reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide.”
The petition was backed by Solicitor General Jose Calida who said Aquino and two other former officials are all liable for the deaths of 44 Special Action Force commandos killed on January 25, 2015.
In January 2018, the Office of the Solicitor General asked the Supreme Court to “annul, reverse or set aside” the Ombudsman resolution of June 13, 2017 that “dismissed the complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide” against Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas.
Tuesday’s decision said then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales “did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing the complaints for 44 counts of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide filed against private respondents.”
With the Supreme Court’s decision, Aquino is cleared of all charges pertaining to the Mamasapano incident.
In June, the Office of the Ombudsman moved to withdraw the graft and usurpation raps against Aquino in connection with the botched Mamasapano operation.
Current Ombudsman Samuel Martires asked the Sandiganbayan to let them withdraw the charges against Aquino, “without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges against [him] after the conduct of preliminary investigation.”
In July, Martires said he would not file new charges against Aquino in connection with the Mamasapano encounter, saying it does not make sense to charge Aquino with usurpation of authority.