Philippine National Police or PNP should initiate summary dismissal proceedings or SDP against resigned PNP Director-General Alan Purisima and relieved Special Action Force or SAF Director Getulio Napeñas, a veteran solon urged.
Valenzuela City Congressman Gatchalian said that the SDP can be based on the findings by the Board of Inquiry or BOI that the two PNP officials were responsible for the death of the 44 SAF commandos in the botched Mamasapano operation.
“As far as PNP rules are concerned, SDP can be initiated against Generals Purisima and Napenas and the charge sheet against them can be based from the findings of the BOI, which was able to come up with a credible and objective report despite limitations,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian pointed out that SDP are conducted against erring police officers whenever there is a complaint against them from civilians or as a result of an official PNP investigation like the one conducted by the BOI headed by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group or CIDG Director Benjamin Magalong.
Based on the 2007 PNP Disciplinary Rules Procedure contained in Memorandum Circular No. 2007-001, a summary dismissal case can result to the maximum penalty of dismissal from service when the charge is serious, the evidence of guilt is strong, and the respondent is guilty of a serious offense involving conduct unbecoming of a police officer.
Gatchalian pointed out that since Purisima is a presidential appointee, he can only be subjected to a summary hearing after clearance for such purpose is obtained from the Office of the President.
Under Rule 2, Section 6 of the PNP Disciplinary Rules Procedure, the report of investigation together with the complete original records of the case (of a presidential appointee) shall be submitted to the Office of the President through the National Police Commission, which is chaired by the DILG secretary on a concurrent capacity.
Gatchalian said the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) can also conduct motu proprio investigation on the case of Purisima and Napeñas since they are being implicated to an incident where death, serious physical injury, or any violation of human rights occurred in the conduct of police operation, referring to the Jan.-25 SAF operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Based on Rule 6, Section 3 of the PNP Disciplinary Rules Procedure, the investigation and hearing before the administrative disciplinary authorities and the IAS shall be summary in nature and shall not directly adhere to the technical rules of procedure and evidence applicable in judicial proceedings.
The provisions of the Civil Service Law, Rules and Regulations as well as the Revised Rules of Court shall be selectively applicable.
Gatchalian said the PNP cannot expect Malacañang to act on the BOI’s Mamasapano Report since the President is not happy with its findings with his spokesman openly questioning its findings, particularly those pertaining to President Aquino being responsible for the death of the 44 SAF commandos.
“The initiative for the filing of administrative cases against Purisima and Napeñas should come from the PNP and it will do well for OIC Deputy Director General Leandro Espina if he will immediately order the conduct of the summary hearings against the two police officials,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian pointed out that Espina, being a mere PNP officer-in-charge and classmate of Purisima in Philippine Military Academy or PMA Class 1981, may be in an awkward position but he has no choice but to uphold the law and put to use the findings and recommendations of the BOI.
The solon, meanwhile, observed that the immediate uploading on the Internet of the BOI’s Mamasapano Report last Mar. 13, Friday has prevented it from being further mangled like what happened to the 82-page report on the Aug. 23, 2010 hostage crisis in Luneta, where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed during the bungled rescue operation.
“The decision by the PNP to upload the entire 112-page BOI Report is a brilliant move insofar as the possibility that its findings and recommendations might be diluted should Malacañang decides that the report undergo a review by its lawyers,” said Gatchalian, who earlier expressed fears that the BOI report might suffer the same fate as the Incident Investigation and Review Committee or IIRC which made the report on the Luneta hostage crisis.
Gatchalian said the immediate uploading of the BOI Report could be the reason why Malacañang is now trying to shoot the messenger, referring to BOI Chairman Director Benjamin Magalong, who is a classmate of Napeñas in PMA Class 1982.
“Gen. Magalong should be lauded for staying true to his word that there will be no cover up in the BOI probe and for his transparency when he said that he wanted to make the report public once he submits the 112-page report to the PNP,” Gatchalian said.
The BOI report released last Mar. 13, Friday said the President, Purisima, and Napeñas, kept the counter-terrorism mission to themselves, deliberately not informing Espina about it, thus violating the PNP chain of command. (R. Burgos)