PARENTS of two of the 44 Special Action Force troopers slain in a covert mission in January 2015 filed a multiple homicide complaint Friday against former President Benigno Aquino III, who immediately threatened to stue them and anyone who filed “frivolous cases” against him.
The complaint, filed before the Office of the Ombudsman by parents Erlinda Alliaga and Warlito Mejia, also included Aquino’s friend, disgraced former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima, and former SAF director Getulio Napeñas, blaming all three former officials for the deaths of 44 SAF police commandos, including their sons PO3 Robert Alliaga and PO2 Ephraim Mejia.
The two parents accused Aquino of criminal negligence for allowing then suspended PNP chief Purisima to plan and run Operation Exodus, the botched covert mission to neutralize two terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
“Respondent Aquino knows, or should have known, that running roughshod over the chain of command would wreak havoc on the many aspects of Oplan Exodus and would result in confusion, ambivalence and total operational chaos,” the complaint said.
“The President himself admitted that all the communication regarding Oplan Exodus emanating from him to Napeñas, and vice versa, was being coursed through…Purisima.”
Following the filing of the complaint, Aquino said he has told his lawyers to file legal action against those who file “frivolous cases, which are nothing more than harassment.”
“I am curious as to how attorney Ferdinand Topacio intends to support his absurd accusations in connection to the tragedy that happened in Mamasapano. I guess this is to be expected from an attention-seeker such as he,” said Aquino.
“The loss of the SAF 44 is a tragedy. I reiterate that if my instructions to then-SAF Director Getulio Napeñas were followed to the letter, perhaps the risks of the operation could have been minimized, and that this tragedy could have been averted,” he said.
“Let me emphasize: The families of the SAF 44 have experienced so much pain. I am worried that the instigators of this case, in furtherance of their objectives, are setting up the loved one of the SAF 44 for even more suffering,”Aquino said.
A day after becoming an ordinary citizen, Aquino is facing a multiple homicide complaint before the Ombudsman over the botched Mamasapano operation, the worst crisis of his administration.
The Volunteers against Crime and Corruption trooped to the Office of the Ombudsman and filed a complaint accusing Aquino of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide for his alleged role in the botched Oplan Exodus.
VACC chairman Dante Jimenez accompanied the relatives of some of the elite cops in filing the complaint.
According to the complaint, Aquino should be held liable for the “brutal bestial deaths” of the SAF commandos “due to negligence, imprudence, lack of foresight and lack of skill in the planning, preparation and execution of Oplan Exodus.”
Alliaga and Mejia as complainants said “Aquino’s criminal negligence consisted of planning Oplan Exodus with gross and inexcusable negligence and thereafter approved the operation knowing it was flawed.”
The complainants want Aquino tried for homicide even though the Ombudsman earlier cleared him of accountability in the incident, despite his appointment of his friend Purisima to participate in the planning of the operation even while he was serving a suspension for graft.