Malacañang has finally given up on resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima.
“Make no mistake, the rule of law applies to everyone, friend or foe. We expect the Ombudsman order to be carried out as directed,” said Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda in a test message to reporters.
The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal of Purisima, a long-time friend of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, for his involvement in the alleged anomalous courier service contract in 2011. Ten other police officials, including Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, a contender for the top PNP post, were also slapped with the same punishment.
In the 50-page consolidated decision, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales found substantial evidence to hold Purisima liable for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and grave abuse of authority for favoring courier firm, Werfast.
Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Ombudsman’s order gives the President the chance to finally appoint a permanent PNP chief. The law provides that only one four-star rank is allowed in the police service.
“President (Aquino) is determined to appoint the most qualified and competent senior official who will capably lead the PNP and assure the effective performance of (the organization),” Coloma said.
Aside from Purisima and Petrasanta, also sacked were Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, Senior Supt. Allan Parreño, Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto, Senior Supt. Melchor Reyes, Supt. Lenbell Fabia, Chief Insp. Sonia Calixto, Chief Insp. Nelson Bautista, Chief Insp. Ricardo Zapata Jr. and Senior Insp. Ford Tuazon.
The Ombudsman said the police officers can appeal the order, which is immediately executory.
“They should implement it right away. But the respondents are afforded remedies,” Morales said.