Some SAF44 families to file impeach complaint vs Ombudsman Morales

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

(File photo) Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 3) — It's been nearly three years since 44 members of an elite police force perished in a bloody and brutal encounter with rebels in Maguindanao.

These troops of the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces are known as the "SAF 44".

They were sent on a covert mission on January 25, 2015 to the town of Mamasapano to capture the wanted Malaysian terrorist Marwan. The mission was conducted with the knowledge of then President Benigno Aquino III and dismissed Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima.

Following a senate investigation and an independent inquiry into the botched Mamasapano operation and the deaths of the 44 troops, the Office of the Ombudsman in July ordered the filing of charges of usurpation of authority against Aquino and Purisima.

But for relatives of some of the SAF 44, this is an injustice.

They are set to file an impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on November 20, when Congress returns from a month-long recess.

Mothers of two of the slain SAF 44--Felicitas Nacino, who comes from the province of Aurora, and Helen Ramacula, who traveled all the way from Northern Samar  believe Morales committed culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayed the public's trust when she engaged in selective justice.

Helen, the mother of PO3 Rodel Ramacula, finds it unacceptable that the Office of the Ombudsman downgraded the 44 counts of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide case they filed against former President Noynoy Aquino to only one count of usurpation of authority.

"Parang binabalewala nya ang kaso kasi. Sinabi niya, abswelto. Hindi naman pwede absweltuhin. Inutusan mga anak para magpunta sa sitwasyon tapos binalewala,"  Ramacula told CNN Philippines. (Translation: She's taking us for granted. They cannot be absolved. They ordered our sons into that situation then they take it for granted.)

RELATED: Ex-President Aquino faces criminal raps over Mamasapano encounter, cleared of homicide

Felicitas, the mother of PO2 Nicky Nacino, feels that the Office of the Ombudsman is neglecting them.

"Iyong trabaho nga po niya, hindi niya nagagampanan," Nacino said.(Translation: She's not doing her job.)

"Siya po dapat ang magbigay ng aksyon, [pero] hindi e. Bakit kung mahirap po, matagal i-process ang aming kaso. Pero pag mayaman, madali nilang i-ano. Ano tawag doon? Diba selective po," Nacino added. (Translation: She's supposed to act on this but she isn't. Why does it take long for cases of the poor to be processed? But when it's the rich, it's quicker. What's that called? Isn't it selective?)

The three-year wait and the back-and-forth from their provinces to Manila has been difficult.

"Naghihintay po kami, naghihintay. Ang hirap po maghintay ng ganoong katagal. Three years na, wala pang aksyon," said Nacino. (Translation: We have been waiting. It's difficult to wait this long. Three years, and still no action.)

The Ombudsman is trying to protect the former president from any criminal liability, says the lawyer for the SAF 44 kin, Ferdinand Topacio.

"The Ombudsman is covering up for the former president by reducing the charges to something which can be easily defended and is doomed to fail. The same kind of treatment is not extended to those who are perceivd to be on the other side of the fence in so far as the former president is concerned," Topacio said.

This thought was earlier echoed by President Rodrigo Duterte when the charges against Aquino were downgraded.

RELATED: Duterte: Ombudsman charges vs. Aquino 'meant to fail'

The Ombudsman violated Article 11 Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, which states that the Ombudsman should serve as "protectors of the people" and "shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials", Topacio added..

"Since she failed to protect the people by discharging her duties with uneven hand and unbiased eye, she committed culpable violation of the Constitution by going against the mandate of the ombudsman," ge said,

Aside from the impeachment complaint, Nacino, Ramacula, and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption are also filing a petition before the Supreme Court to annul and reverse the Ombudsman's decision dismissing the complaint for reckless imprudence.

They are also asking the Supreme Court to direct the Ombudsman to file the 44 counts of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide against the former President before the Sandiganbayan.

The mothers Nacino and Ramacula vow not to give up their fight for justice for their children.

"Hindi kami titigil. Kaya kami nandito, pinapaalam namin na sana mabigyan ng hustisya ang pinaglalaban namin mga magulang," said Ramacula.