DURING the stint of then DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, the Undersecretary for Peace and Order, Rico Puno, was reporting directly to President BSA3. He was the “eyes and ears” of the president. This situation led to a two-hydra set up in the DILG. Puno resigned on September 7, 2012, after several issues that were made public and put the appointing authority again in the spotlight because of the so-called KKK.
Upon the death of Robredo, observers thought there would be a change with the new leader having supervision and control over the PNP. Secretary Mar Roxas took over the post on August 21, 2012. The 17th PNP Chief, Nicanor Bartolome (PMA Class 1980), was appointed by BSA3 on September 7, 2011 and should have served the position until March 16, 2013. By November 2013, BSA3 announced that Bartolome was to go on a “no duty” status before the end of 2012 to give way to a new PNP head for purposes of the May 2013 elections and the supposed battle against private armies.
Deputy Director General Alan Purisima (PMA Class 1981), head of the PNP directorial staff, was being groomed then as the next PNP chief. He’s a former aide of the late President Corazon Aquino. And with that appointment, Purisima was more accountable to BSA3, reporting directly to him than to the DILG secretary. Issues earlier raised against Purisima revolved around appointments and the processing of gun permits and the like. Then the white house came out, the mansion in Nueva Ecija, a state-of-the-art poultry farm, luxury vehicles and his SALN. Gifts and favors to the most favored PNP Chief!
In all these, Roxas has been quiet despite the earlier announcement of a lifestyle check. Days after the Purisima hearing in the Senate, Roxas was telegraphing his announcements. First he said, “Purisima will be included in the lifestyle check.” Then, he said he still “trusts Purisima.” The following day Roxas was quoted as saying a “probe” shall be made on the donors for the renovation of the assigned quarters of Purisima in Camp Crame despite the fact that the deed of donation was made after the fact. Roxas never asked Purisima to explain his SALN as well as the vehicle that Purisima used going to the Senate. In fact Purisima was more presidential with his vehicle. Who will do the lifestyle check? When will it be completed? Why only now?
Just to provide context, from 1992 to 1998, we did technical work for the budget of the Interior and Local Governments department since our previous principal (Rep. Roilo Golez) then was Chair of the House Committee on Public Order and Security of the House of Representatives under the 19th Congress. During that time, we likewise provided technical work for Republic Act No. 8551 signed last 25 February 1998 or 16 years ago.
On December 13, 1990, the Department of Local Government was reorganized and via R.A. No. 6975, which created the Department of Interior and Local Government, its Secretary was also designated as ex-officio Chairman of NAPOLCOM. The Secretary exercises both general (Section 9) and specific (Section 10) powers. The general power provides, “the authority and responsibility for the exercise of the Department’s powers and functions shall be vested in the Secretary, who shall hold office at the pleasure of the President and shall receive the compensation, allowances and other emoluments to which heads of departments are entitled.” The specific powers are: prepare and submit periodic reports, including a Quarterly Anti-Crime Operations Report and such other reports as the President and Congress may require; act as Chairman and Presiding Officer of the National Police Commission; and delegate authority to exercise any substantive or administrative function to the members of the National Police Commission or other officers of rank within the Department.”
R.A. 8551 or the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998 created the National Police Commission (Title III) and the Internal Affairs Service (Title V). Interestingly, NAPOLCOM commissioners serve “for a term of six (6) years without re-appointment or extension” but it seems the term limit is honored more on breach. Then it appears that the Internal Affairs Service is not even fully functioning so how could “Tuwid na Daan” be implemented in the PNP? No wonder we have the proliferation of active officers and staff involved in nefarious activities. So what is the position of Roxas on IAS as well as the beyond the term practice in the NAPOLCOM?
SALN impeached a sitting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court while anti-corruption laws dismissed Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong. What would take Purisima to honor the vaunted code of the PMA? Definitely, Purisima is favored from the days of getting Bartolome on early retirement thus securing the position for a close friend, security and defender of BSA3. Nothing wrong there for so long as he stops receiving gifts and favors given to him because of his twin positions, as Chief PNP and grand mason.
What is with DILG that it seems unable to have a unified head? With an investment banker leading the helm, one would think that the local government units will be converted into economic units and investment areas but alas, nothing happened. With an investment banker heading the PNP, a well trained elite and professional organization would be aborning, but again not much is going in that direction. Meanwhile jueteng, illegal drugs and organized crimes are still prevalent and some are on the rise.