Ombudsman persecuting political opposition – UNA

The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday blasted Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for filing multiple charges against a dead person, describing the move as concrete proof to malign the Liberal Party's opponents in the May 9 national elections.

United Nationalist Alliance communications director Joey Salgado noted that the Ombudsman filed the case against former Makati City administrator Nicanor Santiago Jr. who died in 2013 to resurrect in media old allegations against the UNA standard-bearer.

"This just goes to show how sloppy the Office of the Ombudsman is," he said.

Salgado added the Ombudsman has sacrificed the quality of its work in its haste to perpetuate the propaganda of the current administration.

"Shoddy research is now the norm at the Office of the Ombudsman," he stressed.

UNA spokesman Mon Ilagan has earlier said the Ombudsman was "overzealous" in its effort to damage the reputation of close allies and supporters of the Vice President.

The Office of the Ombudsman earlier filed graft charges against UNA re-electionist Cebu Rep. Gwen Garcia over the construction of the Cebu International Convention Center in 2006. It also affirmed the graft case against former Laguna Gov. ER Ejercito for an insurance agreement the municipality of Pagsanjan entered into in 2008.

Last Tuesday, it also announced the indictment of former Special Action Force commander and retired police Gen. Getulio NapeAas in connection with the Mamasapano incident in January 2015.

NapeAas, for his part, hit back at President Aquino for his refusal to own up to the responsibility over the botched Mamasapano operation last year which resulted to the deaths of 44 SAF troop and instead put the blame on him.

"I am mad! Now, they want to hold me accountable for everything. They took away all the benefits due me," said the UNA senatorial candidate during an All-Quezon Candidates forum in Unisan, Quezon.

The Ombudsman cited him for graft and usurpation of power.

"This I tell them: If they will do something, they have to own it and not pass the blame on somebody else. They have no balls," he stressed.

NapeAas said he is being charged with usurpation of power for breaking the chain of command.

"How could that be when he (Aquino) is on top of the command?" he asked.

"He (Aquino) asked me why I did not coordinate with the military. But that is beyond my responsibility and my rank. Only he, (Deputy Director) General Leanardo Espina and (former PNP chief) General Alan Purisima can do that. It is beyond protocol for me to do that," he said.

To substantiate his claim, the UNA senatorial bet revealed that when Purisima asked him for a briefing on the operation to arrest international terrorist Marwan sometime in November 2014, Purisima made it clear that he would seek the go-signal for the operation from the President.

When the first operation was aborted, NapeAas said Purisima asked him to personally brief the President on reasons for aborting the plan.

Then, on Jan. 9, 2015, NapeAas said Purisima asked him to brief Aquino again on the planned operation against Marwan set on Jan. 25.

On that particular briefing, NapeAas said Aquino asked him to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) prior to the operation for additional support but which he declined and instead proposed a time-on-target coordination.

NapeAas added Purisima even seconded his proposal to which Aquino just remained silent.

"He did not object. He just remained silent. So everyone took that as an approval of the plan," he stressed.

"Look at what the Ombudsman is doing. Just like what they did to Vice President Binay," he said.

"But I will fight this till the end," he averred.

Sympathizing with NapeAas, Binay slammed the Ombudsman for allowing itself to be used for demolishing the administration's political opponents.

"It's allowing itself to be used as an instrument for persecution of the administration's political opponents," Binay said.

Source: Tribune

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