MANILA – Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. urged President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to fire former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima due to the unstable situation of the police organization.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, however, questioned Marcos’s call as Purisima had already resigned from the police force’s highest post.
“He (Purisima) has no responsibility anymore in the Philippine National Police, in the line organization. He does not hold any position, so I don’t know what Sen. Bongbong Marcos is referring to,” Lacierda said in a press briefing.
Marcos, for his part, lashed back at Lacierda’s words as he firmly believed that Purisima should be held liable to the slain Special Action Force (SAF) 44.
“How in heaven’s name can we even allow this man (Purisima) to remain as a police officer? Why can’t we do the only decent thing of removing Purisima and hauling him to court for leading our SAF 44 to their graves?” Marcos said.
Purisima served as the PNP chief since 2012 but got suspended in 2014 after being filed with graft and plunder charges over purportedly anomalous gun license delivery deal with a private company. After being linked to the Mamasapano clash with Moro rebels earlier this year, he decided to resign from his position while serving his six-month suspension from the plunder case.
Purisima is expected to go back on duty after a month. He will still carry his four-star rank but will no longer be the police chief. Like former PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome, who was his predecessor, Purisima would not opt for an early retirement.
Without a PNP chief, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina served as the PNP officer-in-charge. Aquino is yet to appoint the new police chief.
According to some sources, Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta was the most qualified and thus, would likely be the next PNP chief. Petrasanta, however, will be retiring next year.
With the PNP’s highest position vacant for quite some time now, Lacierda asserted that the police organization had been able to continue with its operations.
“It’s in the process right now. Let’s just wait for the appointment, announcement, or the choice of the President on that point. But certainly, notwithstanding the absence, the Philippine National Police has been moving,” he said.
Meanwhile, former PNP chief Panfilo “Ping” Lacson urged Purisima to take the initiative in opting an early retirement as he believed that Aquino would never instruct Purisima to do so.
“I think he (Purisima) should opt for an early retirement because the President will be ashamed to ask him, being a close friend – ‘hey Alan, please retire.’ He’s not going to say that. We know the President, how he treats his friends and it’s incumbent upon Alan to volunteer to retire earlier than November,” Lacson said in an interview.