Palace: Aquino ready to face 'consequences' after 2016
MANILA, Philippines – With less than a year before President Benigno Aquino III steps down from office, Malacanang said the Chief Executive is ready to face the "consquences of his actions" after his term expires in 2016.
Responding to questions in an interview on Radyo Singko, Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said the President’s actions have been "right and constitutional."
“Ang Pangulo naman ay hindi naman siya natitinag doon sa kanyang posisyon na sa lahat ng pagkakataon ginagawa niya ang tama at naayon sa batas at pinaninindigan naman niya iyon at handa naman siyang harapin lahat ng mga consequences ng kanyang mga aksyon bilang lider ng ating bansa,” Coloma said in a radio interview on Thursday, July 22.
(The President is firm that all his actions are right and constitutional. He has always been ready to face the consequences of his actions as the leader of our country.)
Coloma believes not all presidents would end up in jail. He said Aquino has always been faithful to his oath to the people, which is “to defend and uphold the Constitution and do justice to every Filipino.”
Manila Mayor former president Joseph Estrada was detained for plunder charges after he was ousted in 2001. He was convicted in 2007 but did not spend a day in prison as he was pardoned by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Arroyo, who is now Pampanga Representative, is detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center also for plunder charges.
Estrada and Arroyo are said to be seeking re-election in 2016. (READ: Detained Gloria Arroyo to seek re-election in 2016)
No liabilities over Mamasapano
One of the controversies that hounded Aquino is the Mamasapano incident, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago had said that the President is among those responsible for the botched operation wherein 44 elite cops were killed, along with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and several civilians.
The Ombudsman's special panel on Mamasapano absolved the President of any criminal liability. It recommended criminal and administrative charges against 11 police officers, including former Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force chief Police Director Getulio Napeñas.
In the radio interview, Coloma said the Ombudsman's findings are clear – Aquino was not involved in any unconstitutional act arising from the incident.
Malacanang, however, gave no direct answer when asked if the Mamasapano case could be resolved before Aquino's term ends.
What is important, Coloma said in Filipino, "is for the people to see that government processes are moving – including the Ombudsman, an independent constitutional body – to address calls that people should be held accountable over what happened in Mamasapano." – Rappler.com