With the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) suspended for six months, someone must be appointed to take charge of security preparations for key events in the country next year, a party-list congressman suggested on Friday.
Magdalo Rep. Francisco Ashley Acedillo said Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd or President Benigno Aquino 3rd himself should name the temporary replacement of PNP Director General Alan Purisima, whose suspension was ordered by the Office of the Ombudsman while he is being investigated for an allegedly anomalous deal with a delivery firm.
“I think Secretary Roxas or the President himself must intervene in the issue surrounding the PNP leadership. A new PNP chief must be appointed to serve for the remainder of President Aquino’s term,” Acedillo told The Manila Times in a text message.
He said the country will be focusing next year on Pope Francis’ visit, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and the Bangsamoro plebiscite.
“The PNP needs a full-time and effective leader at the helm as [PNP chief],” Acedillo added.
The suspension order from the Ombudsman was handed to Roxas on Thursday. The PNP is under the DILG.
The Fact-Finding Investigation Bureau of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (FFIB-MOLEO) recommended the preventive suspension.
Approved on December 3, the suspension order also covered Police Director Gil Meneses and former officials of the PNP Firearms Explosive Office (FEO)—Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, Senior Supt. Allan Parreno, Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto, Senior Supt. Melchor Reyes, Supt. Lenbell Fabia, Chief Insp. Sonia Calixto, Chief Insp. Nelson Bautista, Chief Insp. Ricardo Zapata and Senior Insp. Ford Tuazon.
In September, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) filed a complaint against Purisima and other PNP officials, accusing them of siphoning off funds from mandatory delivery fees paid by gun owners in securing their gun licenses.
The PNP had hired WERFAST, a courier service firm, to make the door-to-door delivery of the licenses to the gun owners.
WERFAST was also allegedly accredited before the FEO Accreditation Committee vetted it despite its alleged failure to meet requirements for accreditation.
The anti-graft office started to look into Purisima’s records and lifestyle after an anonymous complaint accusing him of ill-gotten wealth was filed last June.
There were also news reports questioning his receipt of donations for the construction of the “White House,” his official residence in Camp Crame, the police headquarters in Quezon City.