Former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino has been discharged from confinement at the Makati Medical Center, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Former deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino expressed his gratitude to those who prayed for his health and recovery.
On December 9, Valte confirmed that Aquino was in the hospital for a scheduled routine check-up. This was after rumors circulated that the former chief executive was in confinement due to a heart procedure.
The Supreme Court has lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) it had issued on the Mamasapano trial at the Sandiganbayan.
SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka in a statement on Wednesday said that the justices have voted the lifting of the temporary restraining order during Tuesday’s en banc session.
“I would like to confirm that the Supreme Court has lifted the TRO on the Mamasapano trial before the Sandiganbayan,” Hosaka’s statement said.
“With the lifting of the TRO, the Sandiganbayan may now proceed with the trial and act on pending matters filed before it,” he added.
The decision is expected to pave the way for possible action on the withdrawal of the graft and usurpation of authority charges against former President Benigno Aquino III in connection with the Mamasapano clash that killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos on January 25, 2015.
The charges were filed with the Sandiganbayan in November 2017 by then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
Charged with Aquino were former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former PNP-SAF director Getulio Napeñas, Jr.
Aquino was scheduled to be arraigned, but the SC issued a TRO that halted the proceedings in the case in February last year, acting on a petition by relatives of two of the slain elite policemen that Aquino be charged instead with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.
In June this year, Ombudsman Samuel Martires moved to withdraw the graft and usurpation charges against the former president, saying he found no sufficient ground and evidence.
Martires, however, added that his decision was without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges against the accused after the conduct of a preliminary investigation.
In July, Sandiganbayan, on the other hand, said the anti-graft court will wait for the SC to lift the TRO before it could act on the Ombudsman’s motion. (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf
Senatorial bets for the May 2019 midterm elections continue to hold campaign sorties in a bid to persuade the public to cast votes in their favor.
On Tuesday, March 5, candidates of the administration-backed Hugpong ng Pagbabago party visited Antipolo City and Bacoor City, Cavite. Hugpong bets Francis Tolentino, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada, Cynthia Villar, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, former Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. and former Police Chief Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa joined the political rally.
The Senatorial bets of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), on the other hand, traveled to Bangued, Abra to hold a campaign rally with President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday.
The Opposition slate ‘Otso Diretso’, meanwhile, went to Muntinlupa City to woo voters in a town hall meeting. Those who joined the campaign sortie were senatorial aspirants Erin Tañada, Atty. Romulo Macalintal, Samira Gutoc and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay.
Senator Bam Aquino, Atty. Chel Diokno and Magdalo Party-list Representative Gary Alejano were not in attendance but sent their respective representatives instead.
On March 6, Wednesday, the ‘Otso Diretso’ slate will go to Marikina City and Rizal province while Hugpong bets will visit Parañaque and Las Piñas, based on schedules sent to media. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Correspondent Grace Casin)
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