THE Senate is determined to summon suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima to its inquiry into the police operation in Maguindanao that killed 44 commandos.
Sen. Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said the Senate will do everything in its power to compel Purisima to attend the investigation so that he can shed light on his involvement in the mission.
According to Poe, her committee has sent an invitation to the suspended PNP chief but he may not be able to attend the scheduled hearing on February 4 because he reportedly flew to Saipan for a meeting with Masons.
Purisima is the incumbent Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines.
“If needed, we will issue a subpoena for him to appear,” Poe said in a radio interview aired over dzBB on Sunday.
She scheduled an inquiry on Wednesday based on four separate resolutions asking her committee to conduct an inquiry into the clash between members of the PNP’s Special Action Force and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Poe said Purisima’s actions after the clash bolstered suspicions that he may have been involved in the confidential police operation despite his suspension.
According to the senator, Purisima did not even show up for the arrival honors at Villamor Air Base or at the necrological services for the fallen policemen at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City (Metro Manila).
Poe said Purisima, as the police chief, should have condoled with the families and relatives of the 44 fallen PNP-SAF men.
She added that Purisima’s silence on the mission is suspicious since he can easily face the public and defend himself if he had no hand in the execution of the police mission that targeted two terrorists.
The Senate Committee on Public Order and Safety has invited Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd and PNP Officer-in-Charge Leonardo Espina to attend the inquiry, as well as
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and the heads of the government and MILF peace panels.