WAS former Task Force Tugis head Sr. Supt. Conrad Capa transferred because he leaked the controversial phone call made by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Alfonso Umali to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima following the arrest of fugitive businessman Delfin Lee?
Police sources believe that this is the most plausible explanation for the sudden reassignment of Capa to Cebu.
Capa, former head of the task force that arrested Lee, was named deputy regional chief for operations in Cebu.
Malacañang had claimed that the transfer was a promotion.
Sources said Umali has first called up Capa after Lee was arrested in Manila on March 6.
Umali reportedly questioned Capa’s arrest and negotiated for the businessman’s release, but Capa turned him down.
The police officer allegedly told Umali to call up Purisima.
Reports of the telephone call, which Umali and Purisima confirmed, came out in the papers the following day, prompting Malacañang to demand an explanation from Umali.
According to the source, President Benigno Aquino 3rd was embarrassed by the incident since Umali is the treasurer of the Liberal Party and is the brother of Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, a Malacañang ally.
Thus, the source said Purisima was forced to relieve Capa, who is himself close to the PNP chief.
Capa served as the intelligence officer of Purisima when he was designated by the President as Central Luzon police director in 2010.
Capa did not hide his disgust on his reassignment, saying that his relief is related to the capture of Lee.
“I was no match for Delfin Lee,” he was quoted as saying after his reassignment was announced by Purisima.
Umali denief that he intervened on Lee’s case. He explained that he called Purisima to confirm about the arrest of the Globe Asiatique president upon the request of his friend, Gilbert Repizon, Lee’s counsel.
Presidential spokesperson Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President was satisfied with Umali’s explanation.
Capa said he was expecting a reward for his accomplishment but instead got a demotion.
Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco denounced Purisima’s action.
“Instead of inspiring our police force, the relief [of Capa]sends a chilling message that certain high-profile personalities are off limits,” Tiangco said.
Earlier, Vice President Jejomar Binay had claimed that influential people asked ranking police officials to release Lee.