After his controversial change of post following his unit’s arrest of fugitive Delfin Lee, Senior Supt. Conrad Capa was not among the policemen honored by President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday.
However, three members of the Task Force Tugis that Capa headed were recognized for successfully arresting Lee. They were Chief Insp. Rafael Lero, Senior Police Officer Dante Cabalquinto and Police Officer Eugene Amoyo.
Speaking before members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the President criticized “a person who refused to take a new assignment.”
It was a reference to Capa who aired his disappointment over his reassignment on national media.
“Lately, we have had an issue of a person who refused to take a new assignment. Let me ask you, can we choose our assignment?” Aquino told members of the PNP.
PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima relieved Capa from his post exactly a week after his police unit arrested Lee, the president of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp who allegedly defrauded Pag-Ibig Fund of almost P6.6 billion by using fake borrowers and fake documents.
Purisima had explained the move was actually a promotion, which may pave the way for Capa getting a generalship. But Capa insisted that it was not, and accused the PNP’s top brass of misleading the public and lying to the Palace.
The President pointed out that Capa’s new assignment was not even a bad position and his achievements should indeed be rewarded and recognized.
However, Aquino criticized the police official for using the media for expressing his grievances and for hitting Purisima.
He stressed that Capa did a “disservice” to the PNP with his actions.
“If he showed valor, he should be rewarded and acknowledged, but at the same time I thought: [He] goes to the media, says this and that, keeps quiet for a while, then goes back on a media tour’—and I really think that’s a disservice,” the Chief Executive said.
“He’s ruining the institution that he’s serving,” he added.
The President also compared Capa to other PNP personnel who were receiving awards.
“He’s good and we can rely on him when he’s happy. But when he isn’t, does that mean we can’t rely on him anymore? Is that a professional?,” he said.
During the ceremonies in Camp Crame on Tuesday, Aquino also recognized the policemen who fulfilled their duties during the Zamboanga City standoff and in the aftermath of the Bohol earthquake and of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Meanwhile, the members of the police task force that captured businessman Lee complained of low morale after the sudden relief of their commander, a reliable source from the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame said.
Capa was relieved from his post immediately after he said that a ranking government official tried to intervene after Lee’s arrest.
The issue did not escape the attention of observers of the PNP with former Philippine Constabulary (PC) chief Ramon Montano giving Purisima a low credibility rating.
“(Purisima) has a credibility problem so he has to be straightforward. If you hide something then something’s wrong,” Montano said recently.
The former PC chief said Purisima appeared to be hiding something from the public regarding Delfin Lee’s arrest, especially when news broke out that some influential government people called-up him right after the arrest.
Montano said he knew the two and Purisima mishandled the issue of Capa after Lee’s arrest which was why Capa went to the media.