Despite his resignation as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Alan Purisima has failed to get relief from the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop his suspension that was imposed on him by the Office of the Ombudsman on December 4, 2014
In a six-page resolution, dated February 4, 2015, the CA 8th Division ruled not to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Office of the Ombudsman in halting Purisima’s suspension.
Purisima had resigned as PNP chief last week after the killing of 44 Special Action Force police commandos in a clash with Muslim separatist rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last January 25.
Instead, the appellate court ordered the Office of the Ombudsman to “show cause why the plea for a TRO and writ of preliminary injunction should be granted.”
“The respondent office of the Ombudsman, through the OSG [Office of the Solicitor General] is directed anew to file a comment on the petition for certiorari and to show cause why the application for a temporary restraining order and/or Writ of preliminary injunction should not be granted,” it said.
The Office of the Ombudsman was given “a non-extendable period of 10 days from receipt of the resolution together with the petition for certiorari and its annexes.”
In the meantime, Purisima may reply within a non-extendable period of 5 days from receipt of the respondent’s comment.
The CA has also ordered to consolidate Purisima’s case with that of suspended Police Supt. Allan A. Parreno, who was also involved in the Purisima case.
In his petition for certiorari, Purisima asked the CA to halt the preventive suspension, which he said was imposed by the anti-graft body with grave abuse of discretion and violation of basic due process.
He and 11 other PNP officials were ordered suspended based on a complaint filed by Glenn Gerard C. Ricafranca in connection with the PNP’s 2011 contract with a courier service, Werfast Documentary Agency Inc., on delivery of firearm license cards of gun owners.
Also covered by the suspension order were Police Directors Gil C. Meneses and Napoleon Estilles; Police Superintendents Parreno, Raul D. Petrasano, Eduardo P. Acierto, Melchor V. Reyes, Lenbell J. Fabia and Sonio C. Calixto; and Inspectors Nelson L. Bautista, Ford G. Tuazon and Ricardo S. Zapata.
Purisima countered that the Ombudsman erred in its order as it had no basis to order his suspension because his approval of a memorandum issued by Police Director Meneses, then PNP-Civil Security Group head, was ministerial on his part and “does not constitute gross negligence and/or gross neglect of duty.”
He said the Ombudsman’s order for DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd to implement the suspension order “is patently illegal considering that it violated Republic Act 6975, or 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.”