In view of the two major events to be held in the country next year – namely, the Papal visit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministerial Meetings – Senate President Franklin M. Drilon urged President Aquino to decide on the fate of embattled Philippine National chief Allan Purisima.
“In an organization such as the Philippine National Police where authority and leadership is strictly observed, Purisima’s suspension from his post would turn it into a ‘headless’ body,” said Drilon, a close ally of President Aquino.
“That situation is what we wanted to prevent, especially in light of the forthcoming hosting of the Philippines of two high-profile events next year which would require a full-time PNP chief to be on top of all security preparations,” stressed Drilon.
Drilon noted that the government will have its hands full with two main high-security events in 2015 – Pope Francis’ much-awaited visit to the country in January, and the series of APEC meetings to be attended by world leaders in the latter half of next year.
Purisima is facing a six-month preventive suspension order issued by the Ombudsman.
According to Drilon, even if there is an officer-in-charge (OIC), it is inevitable that uncertainty caused by the suspension the PNP chief would ensue, emphasizing that an OIC has a limited power to effect changes and reforms in the PNP.
He said it will be in the best interest of the country if the leadership issue in the PNP will be “acted on and resolved immediately.”
“The about 150,000 police force need to see and feel the presence, the leadership and the authority of their leader in order to inspire them to deliver their commitments to maintain a peaceful and an orderly community and nation,” Drilon said.
Lastly, Drilon said he believes that the controversy involving the PNP chief has negatively affected the Filipino’s view of the police and could undermine the way the people look at the seriousness of this administration’s anti-corruption agenda. PNA