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Ombudsman pulled a fast one! Aguirre says Mamasapano case against Aquino ‘weak’

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The Office of the Ombudsman is getting pilloried for supposedly filing a “weak” case against former President Aquino for his liability in the bungled Mamasapano operation.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the the graft and usurpation charges recommended by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales against Aquino were “weak.”

“Masyadong maliit nga ‘yun (That’s too insignificant),” Aguirre told reporters on Wednesday (July 19).

“As a matter of fact, we know that those are bailable cases with imprisonment of probably less than six years,” he explained.

On the other hand, Aguirre admitted he has not read yet the resolution of Morales who recommended the indictment of Aquino after having probable cause.

“What I can only say is that by and large, the findings of fact of the Ombudsman is accurate,” he said.

“But when it comes to application of these findings as to what cases really should be filed, I am not yet in the position to comment on that,” Aguirre added.

Morales also named as his co-accused former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima and former SAF Director Getulio Napeñas.

In her resolution, Morales said “there is no gainsaying that President Aquino was fully aware that the Office of the Ombudsman had placed Purisima under preventive suspension at that time [for the anomalous Werfest deal].”

In spite of this, Morales noted the text messages exchanged between Aquino and Purisima showed the former police chief still played a major role in the botched operation.

“The fact remains that, at the time, particularly before and during the actual implementation of Oplan Exodus, Purisima was under preventive suspension, and that Purisima, despite being under preventive suspension, indeed played an active role in Oplan Exodus, as shown by all the record of SMS exchanges and findings in the Senate Committee Report on the Mamasapano incident, to the point that he was exercising a degree of authority and discretion over Napeñas and consequently, over the operation,” she said in the resolution.

The Ombudsman explained “certainly a public officer who is under preventive suspension in barred from performing any public functions and from meddling into the affairs of the government.”

“In other words, Purisima would not have been placed in such a position of continuing to conduct himself, in relation to Oplan Exodus, in a manner as if he was not under preventive suspension at that time, from his position as PNP chief, were it not for the complicity and influence of President Aquino,” she stressed.