PNP respect Ombudsman order to suspend PNP chief

By , on December 5, 2014


Philippine National Police mass oath-taking. File photo courtesy of PNP on Facebook.
Philippine National Police mass oath-taking. File photo courtesy of PNP on Facebook.

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday respect the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman on the order suspending PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima and other nine officials of the PNP, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said.

The Ombudsman also suspended Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Senior Supt. Allan Parreno, Senior. Supt. Eduardo Acierto, Senior. Supt. Melchor Reyes, Supt. Lenbell Fabia, Chief Insp. Sonia Calixto, Chief Insp. Nelson Bautista, Chief Insp. Ricardo Zapata and Senior Insp. Ford Tuazon.

The embattled PNP chief has been facing a number of controversies: the courier service contract for the delivery of gun licenses, and his acceptance of Php 12 million in donations for the construction of his official quarters in Camp Crame dubbed as the White House.

He also came under fire for his property in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija; the huge discount he received from a car dealer for a sport utility vehicle; and his acceptance of a bullet-proof SUV loaned to him.

Mayor said the PNP will exhaust all legal remedies on the matter.

“The legal service will be in charge on what legal remedies to employ,” said Mayor in a press briefing in Camp Crame.

The legal remedy that the PNP will employ will apply to all the PNP officials ordered suspended for an allegedly anomalous courier service contract for the delivery of gun licenses.

Mayor said he was informed that the office of the PNP chief has already received a copy of the Ombudsman order.

“But considering that order was personally to the PNP chief, I am not privy to its contents,” he said.

He has yet to receive word if PNP chief Dir. Gen. Alan Purisima will be returning to the country ahead of schedule as the Ombudsman imposed a six-month preventive suspension on him.

Mayor said Purisima has been informed of the six-month suspension even though he is away on official business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Mayor clarified that the preventive suspension is not a penalty but a preventive suspension so that the respondent cannot influence the outcome of the investigation.

Mayor said no one was appointed as acting PNP chief or officer in charge while Purisima was away on official business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

After PNP Chief, the second most powerful man in the PNP, Dep. Dir. Gen. Felipe Rojas Jr., will retire on Friday as he turns 56, the compulsory retirement age in the PNP.

Rojas is the deputy chief for administration, which acts as the PNP chief’s right-hand man.

Asked if the suspension of Purisima and the retirement of Rojas might create a vacuum in the PNP hierarchy, Mayor said: “We leave that up to the higher-ups.”

Mayor said no one was appointed as acting PNP chief or officer in charge while Purisima was away on official business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The third in line in the PNP hierarchy is Dep. Dir. Gen. Leonardo Espina, who is the deputy chief for operations. Next in line is Dep. Dir. Gen. Marcelo Garbo Jr., the chief directorial staff.

Senior Supt. Robert Po, PNP Chief’s spokesperson, said it will be interior secretary Mar Roxas who will be in charge of serving the Ombudsman’s order and the appointment of an officer-in-charge or acting PNP chief.

“We will wait for the official service of order from the Ombudsman, by then there may be an appointment from the interior secretary,” Po said.

Meanwhile, on the status of the morale of the 150,000-strong PNP, Mayor said they are focusing their efforts on security preparations for the holidays and the upcoming papal visit and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in 2015.

“We are also preparing for the onslaught of typhoon Ruby. The PNP chief has previously told us not to be distracted by the personal controversies surrounding him. We will continue to perform our duties,” he said.

He added that the development is expected for one in the police service, as they have to be prepared for all scenarios.