Sandiganbayan issues HDO vs former PNP chief, 16 others

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The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division has issued a hold departure order (HDO) against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima and several others over a graft case filed against them in connection with the allegedly anomalous courier deal with Werfast Documentation Agency Inc. (Werfast) in 2011.

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An HDO means that they have to seek the court’s permission first whenever they will go on a trip abroad.

“Considering the case/cases filed against the hereunder named accused and docketed as Criminal Case No. / Nos. SB-16-CRM-0271 entitled People vs. Alan La Madrid Purisima, et al. for Violation of Section 3(e), Republic Act 3019, as amended, the Bureau of Immigration is hereby directed to hold the departure of the following accused… who are barred from leaving the country except upon prior approval from this court,” the Sandiganbayan said in the HDO dated May 16.

Aside from Purisima, listed on the HDO were former PNP officials Napoleon Estilles, Gil Meneses, Raul Petrasanta, Allan Parreño, Eduardo Acierto, Melchor Reyes, Lenbel Fabia, Sonia Calixto, Nelson Bautista, Ford Tuazon and Ricardo Zapata Jr.

Mario Juan, Salud Bautista, Enrique Valerio, Lorna Perena, and Juliana Pasia — who were identified in the charge sheet as Werfast incorporators — were also included.

Associate Justice Rodolfo Ponferrada, who leads the court’s Sixth Division, and Associate Justices Oscar Herrera Jr. and Michael Frederick Musngi signed the HDO.

The Ombudsman accused the respondents of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits public officials from causing undue injury to any party, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of their official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

The Ombudsman alleged that the deal with Werfast for courier services for all firearms license applications was entered into even when the firm was not yet registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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