MANILA—Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Thursday upheld the filing of charges against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Alan Purisima and PNP-Special Action Force (SAF) Director Getulio Napeñas for their involvement in the botched Mamasapano operation in 2015.
Morales ordered the filing of charges before the Sandiganbayan for violation of Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, and usurpation of authority or official function.
Aside from criminal indictment, Purisima and Napeñas were also found administratively liable for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
However, since Purisima was ordered dismissed from the service in June 2015 and Napeñas retired in July 2015, the alternative penalty of fine equivalent to their salary of one year was imposed.
They were also meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification for reemployment in the government service, forfeiture of retirement benefits and cancellation of eligibility.
In its order released on Thursday, the Ombudsman ruled that the police officers’ motions for reconsideration (MRs) “deserve scant consideration.”
The Ombudsman said that “Purisima’s active participation and supervision of Oplan Exodus despite the 10 December 2014 preventive suspension order of the Ombudsman and the 16 December 2014 cease and desist order of OIC-PNP Chief Espina both issued against him, violated the PNP chain of command and amounted to usurpation of official functions.”
Insofar as Napeñas is concerned, the Ombudsman said, “his constant reporting and official dealings with Purisima, notwithstanding the latter’s suspension, and sans the knowledge and approval of then-OIC PNP Chief Espina, made him liable as a cohort of Purisima in usurping official functions.”
The Ombudsman added that “Napeñas’ plea of leniency on account of his 37 years of meritorious service in government cannot be countenanced by this Office considering that the penalty of dismissal from the service is an indivisible penalty.”