Ombudsman affirms Mamasapano charges vs. Purisima, Napeñas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Ombudsman on Thursday affirmed charges against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Alan Purisima and former PNP-Special Action Forces (SAF) Director Getulio Napeñas over the botched Mamasapano incident, which left 44 SAF commandos dead.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales directed the filing of charges of graft and usurpation of authority against the two former police officials before the Sandiganbayan.

Purisima and Napeñas earlier filed motions for reconsideration before the Office of the Ombudsman, but their appeals were rejected. Morales said Purisima's active participation and supervision of Oplan Exodus despite being under preventive suspension violated the PNP chain of command and amounted to usurpation of official functions.

Related: Purisima, Napeñas liable for Mamasapano encounter – Ombudsman

The Ombudsman added that "Napeñas' plea of leniency on account of his 37 years of meritorious service in government cannot be countenanced by this Office considering that the penalty of dismissal from the service is an indivisible penalty."

Aside from criminal charges, Purisima and Napeñas are also facing administrative complaints, including grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

They are also perpetually disqualified to work in the government service and cannot claim retirement benefits.

On April 5, the Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause to file graft and usurpation of authority charges against the two former PNP officials.

Purisima and Napeñas coordinated a top-level meeting with the military on the Mamasapano operation codenamed Oplan Exodus starting December of 2014. The firefight happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015.

WATCH: Mamasapano town a year after the bloodbath

In its order, the Ombusdman described Napeñas as Purisima’s cohort for taking orders from a suspended PNP chief, without the knowledge and approval of OIC-PNP Leonardo Espina.

Purisima was suspended by the Ombudsman on December 10, 2014 and was the subject of a cease and desist order on December 16, 2014 by OIC-PNP Chief Espina over graft complaints.

The Mamasapano operation that aimed to capture two top terror suspects claimed the lives of 44 SAF commandos, 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and four civilians. It also injured several police officers and Moro fighters.

One of the most wanted terrorists, Zulkifli bin Hir, better known as Marwan, was killed in the raid.