An administration ally in the House of Representatives urged President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to immediately accept the resignation of suspended Philippine National Police or PNP Director-General Alan Purisima.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian also suggested for President Aquino to immediately appoint a new PNP chief to arrest the creeping demoralization among the ranks of the police force.
“Purisima’s total disregard for the PNP chain of command is completely unacceptable. If there is still some honor and delicadeza left with the suspended PNP chief, he should file an irrevocable resignation and the President should immediately accept his resignation for the good of the PNP,” Valenzuela said.
Gatchalian said the most serious offense of Purisima was that he prevented Special Action Force or SAF Director Getulio Napeñas from informing PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina about the plan to arrest wanted terror suspects in Maguindanao until the operation has started.
Napeñas, who was sacked from his post after the botched police operation that killed 44 of his men, said he directly reported to Purisima despite his suspension because he had “all the intelligence information on Marwan”.
Gatchalian, a Nationalist People’s Coalition member, maintained that PNP chief Purisima’s resignation is the first step in rebuilding the PNP under the leadership of Gen. Espina who, despite being an OIC chief, has shown his decisiveness and professionalism after he learned about the Mamasapano operation.
“President Aquino should exercise his power as commander-in-chief to force General Purisima to hand over his four stars so that General Espina can be appointed as PNP Director-General in a permanent capacity,” he said.
The administration lawmaker pointed out that appointing Espina as PNP chief will help cure the current demoralization among the ranks of the PNP following the deaths of the 44 SAF commandos, which many believe could have been minimized if there was unity of command in the PNP and the Department of Interior and Local Government.
“There is only one PNP and there should only be one PNP chief who will be accountable not only to the entire police force but to the Filipino people who are now demanding that those responsible behind the botched police operation should be held accountable for their decisions,” Gatchalian said.
He also said he cannot understand why it was taking too long for Purisima to “take life,” which is the Philippine Military Academy or PMA cadet lingo for taking full responsibility for something that has gone awfully wrong.
Purisima is a member of PMA Class of 1981, the same class to which Espina belongs.
“If General Purisima still considers himself as an officer and a gentleman, the most honorable thing for him to do is to file an irrevocable resignation and be accountable for all his decisions which led to the massacre of the 44 SAF troopers,” Gatchalian said.
The lawmaker also said the deaths of the 44 SAF personnel and the wounding of 14 others should be reason enough for the Congress to evaluate the peace deal between the government and the MILF.
He added that even the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, which seeks to create the autonomous and political Bangsamoro entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, should also be reviewed. (R. Burgos)