Purisima fails to stop suspension

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Appeals court defers ruling on PNP chief’s TRO petition

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The Court of Appeals on Wednesday deferred judgment on an appeal by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima to stop the Ombudsman from ordering his suspension.

The Court’s Special 10th Division said it will wait for Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to comment on Purisima’s petition before issuing a ruling.

Carpio ordered the national police head suspended for six months last December 4 on a complaint that he committed grave abuse of discretion in approving a contract for a courier service to deliver the firearms license of gun owners.

Purisima petitioned the Court of Appeals to stop the Ombudsman from carrying out the order.

The court’s division, headed by Justice Jane Lantion, with Justices Florito Macalino and Lina Valenzuela as members, gave the Ombudsman 10 days to submit its comment.

The suspension order also covered Police Directors Gil C. Meneses and Napoleon Estilles, Supts. Raul D. Petrasanta, Allan A. Parreno, Eduardo P. Acierto, Melchor V. Reyes, Lenbell J. Fabia and Sonio C. Calixto, Inspectors, Nelson L. Bautista, Ford G. Tuazon, and Ricardo S. Zapata.

The Ombudsman had directed the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to serve the order to Purisima.

In his petition, Purisima said the Ombudsman based the preventive suspension on “assumptions, conjectures and suppositions that have no merit whatsoever.”

The complaint was filed by Glenn Gerard C. Ricafranca in connection with the PNP’s contract in 2011 with the courier, Werfast Documentary Agency.

Purisima said the memorandum for the contract was approved by Meneses, who was at that time the PNP’s Civil Security Group head, and that his action was ministerial and “does not constitute gross negligence and/or gross neglect of duty.”

He said that “by whatever stretch of the imagination, that is hardly evidence of petitioner’s alleged gross negligence and/or gross neglect of duty, which connotes a breach of duty that is flagrant and palpable. No such breach of duty exists on the part of petitioner.”

Purisima said the Ombudsman’s order for DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to implement the suspension “is patently illegal considering that it violated Republic Act No. 6975, known as the Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990 as amended by RA 8551, the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998.

Purisima argued that the PNP “is not under the administrative supervision and control of the DILG but of the National Police Commission, which is a collegial body wherein the DILG secretary is merely an ex-officio chair.”

In an interview on DZMM radio on Wednesday, Roxas said the suspension order is already in effect.

He described Purisima’s attempt to seek a restraining order from the Court of Appeals as a “delaying” tactic.

“It’s a strategy of the lawyers,” Roxas said.

He said the PNP’s chain of command will be followed in choosing Purisima’s replacement.

Next in line as PNP chief is Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, the deputy chief for administration.

There have been rumors that Roxas never favored Purisima, who is a known close friend of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, as national police chief,

The PNP chief also faces charges before the Ombudsman over his supposed mansion in his hometown in Nueva Ecija and the construction of the official residence of the PNP chief in Camp Crame.

In Malacañang, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte said the President will not intervene in the case of Purisima.

“You have to understand that there is already a case with the Ombudsman, and as such, the President will not intervene owing to the fact that the Office of the Ombudsman is a separate entity from the Executive,” Valte said.

Sen. Grace Poe on Wednesday said she was dismayed that Purisima challenged the suspension order.

“There is a purpose higher than yourself always, especially when you’re leading an agency,” said Poe, who chairs of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

House Deputy Minority Leader Neri Colmenares and House Good Government and Accountability Chairman Vice Chairman Elpidio Barzaga said the suspension order has doomed Purisima.

“Both the Napolcom and the DILG are under the DILG Secretary.
Purisima’s argument has no legal basis at all. He should resign. His suspension is already a very telling blow to his credibility. He can’t function well even after this [suspension],” Colmenares told reporters.

Barzaga said Purisima will not gain anything by delaying the inevitable.

“It is only a matter of procedure and time. In the absence of any TRO (Temporary Restraining Order), expect that the Ombudsman’s order to be implemented,” Barzaga said.

With Anthony Vargas, JOEL M. SY EGCO, Jefferson Antiporda and Llanesca T. Panti

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5 Comments

  1. Vicente Penetrante on

    In the beginning when the President favored Purisima saying that he never found him “greedy,” Mar defended Purisima in the Senate, saying that Purisima only received “gifts.”
    Glad to see an awakened Mar!

  2. Gaya ng Ferguson kaso na nag resulta sa RIOTS sa maraming malalaking ciudad sa USA, tapusin sana ng Ombudsman at Sandigan Bayan ang kaso ng lahat ng Pulis gaya ng EDSA daylight robbery in band na knasasakutan ng ibang suspendido at may kasong mga pulis opisyal kasama na ang supendidong PNP Chief Alan Purisima ng 100 days. Huwag na sanang paubtin ng Ombudman at Sandigan Bayan na manyari p ang ginawa ni Capt Mendoza na nag-resulta sa Massacre sa Luneta nuon 2010.Justice Delayed, Justice Denied, DI BA ALAN ?

  3. PURISIMA MUST BE FIRED NOT JUST SUSPENDED

    Purisima’s order of suspension is not a question of whether it is executory or not or there is still proper appeal process . The issue here is the propriety of whether Purisima has the integrity to hold the top PNP post as a sensitive job related to Pnoy’s “matuwid na daan” anti-corruption policy. The Order presupposes the existence of “probable cause” which makes the accusation of graft and corruption vs Purisima indictable, and hence, tarnishes the name of Purisima as PNP head, and, as such, makes him fall under Pnoys anti-corruption policy. It being so, Purisima must not only be suspended but must be FIRED for transgression of anti-graft policy of Pnoy. Simultaneously, the criminal case before the Ombudsman must continue and he must be prosecuted as ordinary violator of the law. PNP being under the DILG, Mar Roxas must make a hard decision to fire Purisima (not just suspend him) in line with Pnoy’s above policy. Roxas decision may clash against Pnoy personal take due to his closeness towards Purisima but this is good and will boast the image of Roxas since he is continuing the official policy of Pnoy although at the expense of personal relationship with Purisima, which can be sacrificed for the good of the party (LP) and the candidacy of Roxas. This will show the public that Roxas has the guts and will to make his own principle of independent-mindedness and his own man and not subservient to Aquino’s personal whims and caprices. Roxas must not defend Purisima that he is presumed innocent and still has the right to appeal, which is not the issue, but the transparency and integrity to govern the PNP, after all there is a “probable cause” indicating possible guilt!
    PURISIma is too much a heavy baggage for Pnoy, LP and DILG, so Purisima MUST GO NOW!, not LATER! Mar Roxas must be shown his disciplinarian leadersh especially to the PNP, so as emulate his macho and unwavering judgment on this Purisima issue!
    Jun…

  4. Drama, drama, drama ! Gusto lang magpakitang gilas someone in Malacanang! Let’s see if this ends up in conviction!
    What about the others, Mr. President?

  5. Roldan Guerrero on

    Very strange…. the DAP KING is not protecting his general? Is this another ploy? Let us see what comes next!