The Sandiganbayan has granted the Ombudsman’s request to withdraw charges filed against former President Benigno Aquino III for graft and usurpation of authority in connection with the bloody Mamasapano operation in 2015.
Thus, a more serious case involving heavier penalties may now be filed against the former President and the other officials involved in the botched operation.
The antigraft court’s Fourth Division, in a resolution released on Thursday, said the charges against Aquino were dropped as the present cases “lack any evidence to push proceedings against him.”
“Considering that the records of the present case are bereft of any evidence that would merit further proceedings as against accused Aquino for the charges […] the Court finds that the dismissal of the said cases is indeed warranted,” the anti-graft court said.Then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, an Aquino appointee, filed the charges before she stepped down after completing a seven-year term.
In November 2017, Morales accused Aquino of graft and usurpation of authority in connection to the January 2015 Mamasapano massacre that killed 44 elite policemen.