President committed a number of crimes
The findings and evaluation of the Philippine National Police board of inquiry and the Senate thus far affirm each other as to where the buck stops in this Mamasapano incident.
President Aquino is legally vulnerable for violating the antigraft and corrupt practices law for causing Filipinos–including the government–undue injury, and for giving somebody (worse, a suspended public official) unwarranted preference through manifest partiality.
He is also liable for inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter; or for allowing himself to be persuaded, induced or influenced to commit such violation or offense.
The President also openly breached the code of ethical standards for public officials by his actions and omissions. He is also liable for obstruction of justice for misleading, confusing and unleashing a contrived wild goose chase, and for spinning a web of contradictory and inconsistent statements on his role, privity and participation in Oplan Exodus.
Additionally, the President induced and even sanctioned usurpation of authority by a suspended official and committed contemptuous acts in disrespect, even defiance, of a lawful order of the courts.
President Aquino cannot hide under the hairsplitting spin of the academic nuance between a commander in chief and a chief executive. The Constitution, law and relevant domestic and international jurisprudence declare unequivocally that as both head of state and head of government, he is ultimately accountable. He is the commander in chief of ‘’ALL the armed forces’’ of the State.
The strawman’s argument about the seemingly debatable application of command responsibility leading up to the desk of the President begs the question of universal accountability of public officers who have been bestowed the public trust.
At the end of the day, it is now indubitable that President Aquino will be hard put to overcome the by and large clear, candid and credible findings of fact that constitute open violations of laws, the Constitution and an unrepentant betrayal of public trust.
EDRE U. OLALIA, secretary general
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers,
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