SolGen asked Supreme Court to order Ombudsman to indict Noynoy Aquino over deaths of SAF 44
UNTV News • January 26, 2018 • 4610
MANILA, Philippines – Solicitor General Jose Calida has asked the Supreme Court to order the Ombudsman to file reckless imprudence resulting in homicide charges against former President Benigno Aquino III over the deaths of SAF 44.
Calida also wants former PNP Chief Alan Purisima and former SAF Chief Getulio Napeñas indicted alongside Aquino.
He also requested the high court to issue a temporary restraining order and stop the arraignment of the three which was set on February 15 for usurpation of authority and graft charges.
Calida said there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales when she dismissed the criminal negligence charges against Aquino and others and instead filed lighter offenses.
“We do not agree with the position of the ombudsman in filing only slap on the wrist cases. Here in our manifestation, we are acting a people’s tribune because the SAF 44 are fallen but they will never be forgotten,” Calida said. – UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said that the move by the Office of the Solicitor General asking the Supreme Court to gag the ABS-CBN Corporation will not stop the Senate from requiring persons to appear and testify during its hearing on the issue.
“The Supreme Court cannot prohibit persons to appear and testify before congressional inquiries in aid of legislation,” Drilon said in a statement.
“The petition cannot prevent the Senate from hearing the issues on ABS-CBN. The petition has no effect on the Senate,” he added.
Drilon issued the statement after Solicitor General Jose Calida asked the SC to stop ABS-CBN and other parties concerned from discussing the quo warranto petition which seeks to void the broadcasting network’s franchise over its alleged violations.
Calida’s move follows the decision of the Senate committee on public services to hear the issue on ABS-CBN’s application for the renewal of its franchise, and the filing of a Senate resolution which seeks to extend the validity of the company’s franchise until the end of 2022.
ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise is set to expire on March 30, 2020.
Drilon said that even if the Supreme Court issues a gag order, it will not cover the hearings in the Senate.
“Such gag order, if ordered, cannot serve as a prohibition for ABS-CBN to appear and testify before the Senate panel,” he said.
He also emphasized that the Constitution and various jurisprudence have many times upheld the power of the Senate to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation and to exercise its oversight power.
The senator cited Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, which states that the Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure.
He also stressed that it is the duty of the witnesses and resource persons to cooperate with the Senate in its efforts to obtain the facts needed for intelligent legislative action.
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
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