A lawmaker allied with the administration in the House of Representatives has urged beleaguered Philippine National Police or PNP chief Director-General Alan Purisima to quietly accept the suspension order of the Ombudsman.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian, a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition or NPC, discouraged Purisima from questioning the legality of the suspension order in public so as to spare the police organization from its current leadership crisis.
“General Purisima should understand that the PNP is larger than him and it would do good for the entire police force if he would just accept his six-month suspension,” Gatchalian said.
He noted that General Alan Purisima’s media statements questioning the legality of the suspension order coming from the Department of Interior and Local Government or DILG is tantamount to defiance by the country’s top cop not only to his superiors but to the judicial system as well.
Purisima’s lawyer said his client will not accept the suspension order from DILG Secretary Mar Roxas since it is the National Police Commission or Napolcom, which has the power to implement the Ombudsman order.
As DILG chief and concurrent chairman of the Napolcom, Roxas maintained that he was authorized to implement the suspension order of the PNP director-general. The Ombudsman had tasked the DILG with implementing its suspension order.
“PNP chief Alan Purisima should just accept the Ombudsman order quietly instead of using technicalities to delay his suspension. What should be his primordial concern right now is to clear himself before the Ombudsman and restore his credibility as chief of the 150,000-strong police force,” Gatchalian pointed out.
Efforts by Purisima to hold on to his job as PNP chief crumbled after he failed to get from the Court of Appeals an immediate temporary restraining order (TRO) against his suspension.
The Court instead ordered the Ombudsman Wednesday to explain why Purisima should not be granted the TRO.
Purisima, one of President Aquino’s closest friends in the government, was suspended for six months without pay by the Ombudsman last week over a multimillion-peso contract that the PNP awarded to a non-accredited courier service firm for the delivery of gun licenses in 2011.
The Ombudsman’s Fact-Finding Investigation Bureau said the erring PNP officials “siphoned off the mandatory delivery fees,” which the PNP Firearms Explosives Office collected from gun owners for the delivery of their gun licenses.
The said bureau found that the PNP entered into an agreement with Werfast Documentary Agency Inc. despite its non-accreditation. It turned out that Werfast was incorporated only after the signing of the memorandum.
The Ombudsman’s fact-finding team also found that Werfast had no capability to deliver gun licenses. It contracted the services of LBC and charged gun owners P190 for deliveries in Metro Manila and P290 in the provinces. LBC was charging its clients only P90 for the service, according to the Ombudsman. (R. Burgos)