VACC urges Ombudsman to reconsider homicide raps vs. ex-President Aquino

MANILA-- The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) on Wednesday urged the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) to reconsider the charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide against former President Benigno Noynoy S. Aquino III.

VACC chair Dante Jimenez and legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio, accompanied by some relatives of the 44 slain Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in the midnight of Jan. 24, 2015,filed Wednesday a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) before the Ombudsman.

In its MR, the VACC asked the Ombudsman to reconsider its decision on the downgrading of the complaint of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide against the former president.

During an operation, dubbed Oplan Exodus, the elite PNP commandos neutralized Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan but also resulted in a bloody encounter between the government troops and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and private armed groups (PAGs) in the area.

The outnumbered troopers of the PNP-SAF died while waiting for reinforcements to arrive.

In an ambush interview with reporters, Topacio said that the charges against Aquino were not commensurate to the 44 lives lost when almost 400 SAF men went to Mamasapano on the midnight of Jan. 24, 2015 in pursuit of wanted terrorist Marwan.

"Para sa amin hindi karapat-dapat yung graft because buhay po ang nawala dito. 44 lives were lost. How can you equate the lives of 44 sa graft? Hindi naman po pagnanakaw lamang sa kaban ng bayan, although that is already a big enough crime. Symbolically, hindi po katarungan yan," Topacio said.

Last week, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing of graft and usurpation of authority against Aquino.

Named as co-accused in the case are former PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima and former PNP-SAF Director Getulio Napenas.

Source: Philippine News Agency