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Supreme Court affirms junking of homicide raps vs. Aquino over Mamasapano

The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the Office of the Ombudsman's dismissal of complaints against former president Benigno Simeon Aquino III and two former police officials for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide over the bloody Mamasapano encounter in 2015.

The High Court held that the Ombudsman "did not commit grave abuse of discretion" in dismissing 44 counts of the charge against Aquino, former police chief Alan Purisima, and former Special Action Forces (SAF) commander Getulio Napeñas, Court spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said Tuesday.

In 2017, the Ombudsman found no probable cause to charge the three with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide over the killing of 44 SAF officers, but indicted them for graft and usurpation of authority.

Relatives of some of the slain police commandos and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption challenged the Ombudsman's dismissal of the reckless imprudence charges before the SC, but the tribunal unanimously thumbed down their petition during their en banc session Tuesday.

Aquino, Purisima, and Napeñas were indicted for graft and usurpation of authority by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. Incumbent Ombudsman Samuel Martires moved for the withdrawal of the charges before the Sandiganbayan last June.

The anti-graft court formally dropped the case in August, but did so "without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate charges against him."

The Sandiganbayan initially decided not to take action on Martires' motion because there was an SC-issued temporary restraining order on proceedings related to the Mamasapano case at the time. The High Court lifted the TRO in early August. —LDF, GMA News