MANILA, Philippines – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said on Friday, January 6, that her office will address the complaint against former president Benigno Aquino III over his role in the Mamasapano clash before she steps down in 2018.
Morales made the statement in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the 2017 Tandang Sora Awards at the Tandang Sora Shrine in Quezon City, where she was an awardee.
The Ombudsman was asked when her office would complete its investigation into the complaint against Aquino and others in connection to the deaths of 44 Special Action Force troopers in a botched operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in January 2015.
“Maybe this year, maybe next year. Matagal pa ‘yun, and one and a half years pa (ako sa puwesto). Huwag mo sabihin it will take me one and a half years to conduct an investigation, hindi naman siguro,” answered Morales, who is due to retire in June 2018.
(Maybe this year, maybe next year. It will take some time, and I still have one and a half years. Don’t tell me it will take one and a half years to conduct an investigation. It won’t take that long.)
She said the case is still being investigated to see if there are grounds for a preliminary investigation.
In Juy 2015, the Ombudsman’s special investigating panel recommended the filing of administrative and criminal charges against 11 police officers, led by former National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima, in connection with the Mamasapano clash, but absolved Aquino of criminal liability. (READ: Mamasapano Clash: What did Aquino know?)
The fact-finding team concluded then there was not enough evidence to hold the former President accountable for the botched operation. Then Vice President Jejomar Binay had criticized the findings for exonerating Aquino.
Since he stepped down in June last year, 3 complaints have been filed against Aquino in connection with the Mamasapano clash. – Rappler.com