Ombudsman orders PNP chief out for 6 months over courier deal
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has ordered the preventive suspension of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and several other police officials who entered into the allegedly anomalous courier service contract with WERFAST Documentary Agency in 2011.
Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan said the preventive suspension will be for six months without pay. It will start once the order is implemented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The order has been transmitted to DILG Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd.
Also suspended were Police Director Gil Meneses and former officials of the PNP Firearms Explosive Office (FEO)—Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, Sr. Supt. Allan Parreno, Sr. Supt. Eduardo Acierto, Sr. Supt. Melchor Reyes, Supt. Lenbell Fabia, Chief Insp. Sonia Calixto, Chief Insp. Nelson Bautista, Chief Insp. Ricardo Zapata and Sr. Insp. Ford Tuazon.
Their suspension was recommended by the Fact-Finding Investigation Bureau of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (FFIB-MOLEO).
The FFIB-MOLEO accused Purisima of gross negligence and gross neglect of duty.
Meanwhile, Meneses and the former officials of the FEO were charged with grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.
In a separate order dated November 26, the Ombudsman also ordered the preventive suspension of several police officials in connection with the administrative complaint in connection with the missing 1,004 high-powered AK47 firearms allegedly sold to the New People’s Army (NPA).
Ordered suspended for six months were Petrasanta, Acierto, Zapata. Parreno, Bautista, Chief Supt. Regino Catiis, Chief Insp.Ricky Sumalde, Chief Insp. Rodrigo Benedicto Sarmiento, Sr. Police Officer 1 Eric Tan, SPO1 Randy De Sesto and three non-uniformed personnel.
Rafanan said the suspension orders against the police officials should be served simultaneously.
Last month, the Ombudsman ordered the creation of a special panel to conduct preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication of two separate complaints over the courier service deal. It also looked into the separate complaint filed by private citizen Glenn Gerard Ricafranca against Purisima, Estilles and WERFAST for plunder and graft.
Also, a five-lawyer special panel was formed to investigate the missing firearms complaint.
The Ricafranca complaint claimed that WERFAST was accredited before it was accredited by the FEO Accreditation Committee and despite its alleged failure to meet requirements for accreditation.
It was further alleged that because it has no logistical capability, WERFAST engaged the services of LBC wherein WERFAST collected P190 for deliveries within Metro Manila and P290 for those outside of Metro Manila when other courier services only charge P90 within Metro Manila.
Malacañang also on Thursday said the government will enforce the suspension order against Purisima.
“The government shall abide by the decision of the Ombudsman,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a news conference.
“Tayo po ay pamahalaan ng batas, hindi ng tao [We are a government of laws, not of men],” Coloma added.
He, however, said he could not say who will be named to replace Purisima. But Coloma gave assurances that security preparations for Pope Francis’ visit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in 2015 will not be affected.
Purisima is currently in Saudi Arabia on a business trip. He will return to the country on Monday.
With CATHERINE S. VALENTE