TACLOBAN CITY- It could be the start of their quest for justice.
That’s how Kristine Clemencio summed up the decision of the Ombudsman to charge former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino over the killing of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) members of the Philippine National Police.
Clemencio’s husband, PO1 Mark Lory Clemencio from Carigara, Leyte, was among those SAF members killed in what is known as Mamasapano massacre.
“I am happy with this development. Hope this will be the first step for us to achieve justice that we have been seeking for all this time,” Clemencio, reached on her mobile phone, said.
She, however, remain apprehensive that considering that Aquino was a former president and remain influential, the case filed against him may not end as they want it.
“He is a (former) president. The case might just be white washed. I am only pinning my hope to President Duterte who personally gave his assurance to us that justice will be served to us and our loved ones(who died due to the encounter),” Clemencio said.
Aquino was charged by the Ombudsman not for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and physical injuries but only for usurpation of authority and graft over the controversial incident.
Aside from Clemencio, SAF members who were from the region who were killed during the botched operations were PO3 John Lloyd Sumbilla from Sulat, Eastern Samar; PO2 Glenn Bedua from Dulag, Leyte; PO2 Noel Balaca from Oras, Eastern Samar;PO2 Rodel Ramacula from Rosario, Northern Samar and PO1 Joseph Sagonoy from Silvino Lubos, Northern Samar. (JOEY A. GABIETA)