THE Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division deferred the arraignment of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd on charges of graft and usurpation of official functions, which were filed against him in connection with the police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015.
The court tentatively reset to February 15 Aquino’s arraignment, as well as the pretrial of the cases against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima.
Aquino, who was a no-show on Friday, filed a Motion to Quash Informations, saying in part that “[a]ll told, this Honorable Court should quash the Informations in SB Crim. Case No. 17-CRM-2145 and SB Crim. Case No. 17-CRM-2144 for: [a]failing to state a violation of Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code and Section 3 (a) of R.A. No. 3019; and [b]for being filed by the Ombudsman without authority.”
Informations are charge sheets. Republic Act (R.A.) 3019 is the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The Office of the Ombudsman charged Aquino before the Sandiganbayan in November.
The cases against him were consolidated with the charge of usurpation of official functions (docketed as SB-17-CRM-0120) and the graft case (docketed as SB-17-CRM-0121) filed by the Ombudsman in January 2017 against Purisima and former PNP-Special Action Force Director Getulio Napeñas.
Purisima and Napeñas were charged over their alleged participation in the mounting of the police operation in Mamasapano in January 2015 despite the former national police chief being under preventive suspension at that time. MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO