President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday defended Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima, who has been under fire after anti-crime watchdog Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) demanded his resignation over involvement of a number of policemen in recent high-profile cases.
Calls for Purisima’s resignation came amid a perceived breakdown of discipline in the police organization after several police officers were implicated in criminal activities including the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) kidnapping-and-robbery case.
But in a so-called agenda-setting dialogue held in Malacañang, the President thumbed down the calls for Purisima’s resignation that he described as without basis.
“They want General Purisima to resign because there are scalawags cops. But tell me, is it only now that we have scalawag cops” he asks in his speech in Malacañang.
Aquino said in past administrations, it was enough to identify suspects in crimes without bothering to catch them.
But that practice, he claimed, has changed under Purisima’s watch.
He went on to enumerate what he called as many high-profile crimes that have been solved under Purisima’s leadership.
These include the arrests of two suspects in the murder of champion car racer Enzo Pastor and the three suspects in the murder of hotel owner Richard King.
Police have also arrested former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan as well as Benito and Wilma Tiamzon , suspected ranking officials of the New People’s Army, the armed group of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The President chided the media for “downplaying” the PNP’s gains against criminality.
“It is disappointing that when there is a crime, newspapers would headline the story. But when a crime is solved, our media do not give it attention. We will have to look for the very short story on page 20,” he said.