Aquino no-show in his arraignment over Mamasapano SAF massacre

Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino was no-show on his scheduled arraignment today over graft and usurpation of authority cases in line with the Mamasapano rain in January 2015.

After not showing up, Sandiganbayan Fourth Division postponed his supposed arraignment on February 15 instead.

Along with it, pretrial of the cases against the former Philippine National Police (PNP) director general Alan Purisima was also deferred on the same date.

According to Aquino’s lawyer, Romeo Fernandez, the former president’s presence was not required in the hearing as he thought that Sandiganbayan would tackle only the notion to suppress the charges filed by the former president.

The lawyer also said that he was not aware that the arraignment was scheduled on Friday.

The 39-page notion to quash said the Ombudsman’s charge sheet failed to indicate a violation of the Revised Penal Code and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and was allegedly filed “without authority”.

“As exhaustively discussed, when Oplan Exodus was devised and implemented, sole executive power was vested in Mr. Aquino under Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. He likewise had the duty to ensure that all laws are faithfully executed, and accordingly, ensure the arrest of the internationally wanted Marwan and Basit Usman.

He had not been removed from office by way of impeachment, which, under the Constitution, is the only way by which his powers of control and supervision over the Executive Department, the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), and the PNP could be taken away from him,” the notion said.

“All of these acts fell squarely within Mr. Aquino’s powers, functions, and prerogatives as then President of the Philippines, and therefore, cannot be deemed as criminal acts. The [charges], therefore, must be quashed for accusing Mr. Aquino of acts which are actually justified and legal under the circumstances,” the defense added.

Source: Manila Times

Post a Comment