THE Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday filed charges against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and former PNP Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas over the botched Mamasapano anti-terrorist operation.
But it spared former president Benigno Aquino 3rd, who allowed Purisima’s involvement in Oplan “Exodus” despite the fact that the latter was suspended over a graft case.
Purisima and Napeñas are facing charges of graft and usurpation of official functions before the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.
The Ombudsman said Purisima caused, with Napeñas’ consent, violations of the PNP chain of command, Purisima’s preventive suspension order dated Dec. 10, 2014, and then PNP officer in charge Leonardo Espina’s order dated Dec. 16, 2014 directing Purisima and other suspended PNP officers to cease and desist from performing their duties.
Purisima, the Ombudsman said, gave instructions to, received reports and recommendations from, and approved the actions of Napeñas in connection with the operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that killed 44 SAF men in January 2015.
As a result, Purisima and Napeñas eased out Espina and then Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas from Oplan Exodus.
The Ombudsman recommended bail of P20,000 for each of the two accused ex-police officials.
In April 2016, the Ombudsman found basis to charge Purisima and Napeñas, who then filed motions for reconsideration.
But the Ombudsman maintained its ruling and filed the charges on Tuesday, the eve of the second anniversary of Mamasapano carnage on January 25, 2015.
The operation, known as Oplan Exodus, resulted in the killing of international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir. But over 60 people, including 44 members of the SAF, were killed in a gun battle with Muslim rebels.