Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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Conflict of interest: Cabotaje-Tang abstains from Mamasapano case

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Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang will no longer handle charges concerning the Mamasapano massacre against former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III who appointed her.

Tang, who also chairs the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division, granted the motion of the prosecution to consolidate the graft and usurpation cases of Aquino with those of former police chief Alan Purisima and former police Special Action Force (SAF) chief Getulio Napenas.

“Finding the grounds to be meritorious, the same motion is hereby granted,” she said.

This means the Sandiganbayan 4th Division will be handling the cases against the three former officials.

Previously, the cases against Aquino were raffled to the 3rd Division, while, the 4th Division got the cases against Purisima and Napenas.

44 SAF members were killed during the 2015 botched operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

In a resolution issued last July, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said “there is no gainsaying that President Aquino was fully aware that the Office of the Ombudsman had placed Purisima under preventive suspension at that time [for the anomalous Werfest deal].”

In spite of this, Morales stressed Aquino permitted Purisima to play a major role in the botched operation which resulted in the deaths.

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