Supreme Court lifts TRO on Mamasapano trial of Aquino

August 07, 2019
Supreme Court

THE Supreme Court has lifted its restraining order on the trial of the 2015 Mamasapano incident, with former president Benigno Aquino III along with former ranking police officers as the accused.

With the ruling, the Sandiganbayan may now act on the Ombudsman’s motion to withdraw the graft and usurpation of authority cases filed against Aquino, former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former PNP-Special Action Force director Getulio Napeñas Jr.

“Upon verification with the Chief Justice, I would like to confirm that the Supreme Court has lifted the TRO on the Mamasapano trial before the Sandiganbayan,” SC public information office chief Brian Keith F. Hosaka said in a statement.

Aquino was facing charges for graft and usurpation in connection with the Mamasapano incident that left 60 people, including 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF), dead on January 25, 2015.

Also facing charges were Purisima and Napeñas, Jr.

But relatives of the SAF commandos had filed a petition with the SC seeking that Aquino be sued instead with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.

This prompted the SC to issue a TRO in February last year temporarily stopping the Sandiganbayan hearing.

But Ombudsman Samuel Martires sought the withdrawal of the graft and usurpation charges against Aquino citing insufficiency of evidence.

For his part, Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Alex Quiroz said they will wait for the SC to lift the TRO before it could act on the Ombudsman’s motion to withdraw.