Senator Leila de Lima said that she has “mixed feelings” about the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman to criminally indict former President Benigno Aquino III.
In a statement on Monday, the detained senator expressed her support for the former president who could face imprisonment along with former Police Chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force Director Getulio Napeñas if convicted in connection with the Mamasapano raid that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos dead.
Eighteen members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and five civilians were also killed in the clash.
“While I could never begrudge the victims and their loved ones, nor the Ombudsman for making such a judgment call, my sentiments and prayers also go out to former President PNoy, whom I also know welcomes this opportunity to, once and for all, defend himself and clear his name,” De Lima said.
The senator also said that the former president’s duty to the lives of millions was “not an easy job.”
“He valued and respected human lives too much for that, so I know that the outcome of the Mamasapano incident was, for him, quite difficult and painful in many ways,” De Lima said.
At the same time, De Lima acknowledged that the Ombudsman’s decision would be beneficial to the survivors and the families left behind by the victims of the Mamasapano raid.
“I am aware that this development is likely something that the survivors of the incident, and the families left behind by those who perished, will welcome, as it could bring a sense of relief and justice for those who risked and lost their lives in the service of our country on that fateful day.” De Lima said.