Malacañang on Saturday said that it will remain uninvolved in the affairs of the others branches of government and constitutional bodies. Particularly, the Palace said it would not be meddling in the Office of the Ombudsman’s decision to move for the withdrawal of the graft and usurpation of authority cases filed against former President Benigno Aquino III at the Sandiganbayan for his role in the Mamasapano incident in 2015.
The Palace doesn’t interfere with the other branches of the government as well as constitutional bodies. They have their assigned constitutional functions,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Saturday.
“They should freely perform their given constitutional tasks without interference from anyone or entity,” he added.
The Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division confirmed on Friday that Ombudsman Samuel Martires had filed a motion to withdraw information finding no sufficient ground to charge Aquino for graft usurpation and official functions.
The motion for the withdrawal has been set for hearing on July 12.
Martires said his motion was filed “without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges against the accused after the conduct of preliminary investigation.”
The charges against former President Aquino were filed in 2017 under the authority of then-Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. The charges stemmed from Aquino’s move to allow suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Alan Purisima, to participate in a botched police operation, which resulted in the death of over 60 people – including 44 members of the PNP-Special Action Force (SAF).