Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima continues to stay at the so-called White House, his official residence at Camp Crame in Quezon City, despite being ordered suspended by the Ombudsman.
The PNP spokesman, Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, told reporters that as of Thursday morning, Purisima was still in the “White House.”
The PNP chief had challenged the Ombudsman’s order before the Court of Appeals, but the court has deferred ruling on it.
Purisima and several other police officers were meted with a six-month preventive suspension over an anomalous gun license delivery deal.
Mayor said last Wednesday that Purisima had “acknowledged” the suspension order.
When asked who will take over as PNP officer-in-charge (OIC), he pointed to Deputy Director General for Operations Leonardo Espina, “by virtue of the chain of command and succession.”
Espina became the No. 2 man in the PNP hierarchy with the retirement last December 5 of Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas Jr., who was deputy chief for administration and acted as the PNP OIC from December 3 to 5, while Purisima was in Saudia Arabia on an official trip.
In a statement on late Friday afternoon, Espina said the PNP “will continue to perform its public safety and law enforcement functions under a newly-reorganized chain of command.”
He added that with “clear marching orders” from Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, also National Police Commission chairman, “the PNP will translate this strategic guidance into operational initiatives and further cascaded as tactical anti-crime actions down the line to the lower units in the station and precinct levels.”
Espina urged the 150,000 officers, men and women of the PNP to “rally behind the PNP leadership and make every individual effort add to the honor and prestige of the organization.”