MANILA – Senate President Franklin Drilon on Thursday urged President Benigno Aquino III to immediately appoint new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief after suspended PNP chief Director General Allan Purisima resigned from his post.
”For the good of the nation, I urge the President to immediately select a competent replacement for General Allan Purisima, one who will be able to effectively lead the Philippine National Police and overcome its many challenges in these trying times,” Drilon said in a press statement.
Drilon said appointing new PNP chief is the first step to restore the morale of the PNP personnel who have been “greatly affected by the recent turn of unfortunate events.”
The Senate President was referring to the killing of 44 PNP Special Action Force (SAF) members in an encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) elements in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January.
Purisima was allegedly behind operation by the SAF to arrest international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and BIFF commander Basit Usman. Marwan was killed while Usman escaped in the bloody operation.
”In order to effectively carry out the functions of the PNP, the government has to make sure that their morale to their service remains high, and their dedication to pursue justice remains strong,” Drilon said.
”The immediate appointment of a new PNP chief is crucial so that chain of commands in the PNP will again be fully observed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Drilon said Purisima should still cooperate with all the investigating bodies that are tasked to uncover the truth behind the deadly Mamasapano encounter.
”He should attend the hearings in the Senate next week on the Mamasapano encounter. His cooperation is crucial in getting the full truth, which we owe to the families of the slain commandos, and in seeking accountability and justice for his fallen comrades,” Drilon said.