Malacañang on Wednesday said police Director-General Alan Purisima is not being treated with kid gloves.
“There’s no special treatment for General Purisima,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told reporters in a text message.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Purisima “has no responsibility anymore in the Philippine National Police [PNP].”
“He [Purisima] does not hold any position, so I don’t know what [Sen. Ferrdinand Marcos Jr.] is referring to. The reports have all been there. Insofar as being part of the organization, in the line organization, he does not hold any role anymore. So let’s keep it at that,” he told reporters.
Lacierda’s statements came after Marcos accused President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday of giving “special treatment” to Purisima despite his alleged involvement in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus, which led to the killing of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troops from the PNP.
Marcos, in a privileged speech, said Aquino’s refusal to appoint a permanent replacement for Purisima is an insult to the bereaved families of the slain police commandos, and the entire police force.
Coloma said the Aquino administration will make sure that justice is served.
“The government continues to work on giving justice to the slain members of the SAF in Mamasapano,” he said, referring to the town in Maguindanao where the police troops died last January.
Coloma did not directly respond to Marcos’ challenge to Aquino to fire Purisima from the police force and charge him with usurpation of authority over the botched Mamasapano operation.
Purisima, who was under a six-month preventive suspension for graft charges, will return to active duty this week. He, however, had gone on a month-long leave.
Lacierda said the President is still choosing the most qualified candidate to be the next PNP chief.
“Well, it’s in the process right now. Let’s just wait for the appointment, announcement, or the choice, ecision of the President on that point. But certainly, certainly, notwithstanding the absence, the Philippine National Police has been moving,” he added.
The PNP officer-in-charge, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina,is scheduled to retire next month.
Purisima will still be in the service until he turns 56–the mandatory retirement age for police and military personnel–in November this year.