Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has created a special panel to investigate Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and other top police officials linked to the alleged anomalous courier service contract the police entered with WERFAST Documentary Agency (WERFAST).
The panel, composed of five lawyers, will conduct the preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication of two separate complaints against the police officials.
The Fact-Finding Investigation Bureau of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (FFIB-MOLEO) charged Purisima with gross negligence and gross neglect of duty. It also filed charges of grave misconduct and serious dishonesty against Police Director Gil Meneses and former officials of the Firearms Explosive Office (FEO) – P/CSupt. Raul Petrasanta, P/CSupt. Napoleon Estilles, P/SSupt. Allan Parreno, P/SSupt. Eduardo Acierto, P/SSupt. Melchor Reyes, P/Supt. Lenbell Fabia, P/CInsp. Sonia Calixto, P/CInsp. Nelson Bautista, P/CInsp. Ricardo Zapata and P/SInsp. Ford Tuazon.
The FFIB-MOLEO sought the preventive suspension of the police officials pending administrative proceedings.
Meneses, Petrasanta, Parreno, Acierto, Reyes, Fabia, Calixto, Bautista, Tuazon, Zapata, Estilles and WERFAST representatives Mario Juan, Salud Bautista, Enrique Valerio, Ireno Bacolod, Lorna Perena, Juliana Pasia and Marilyn Chua face a separate graft complaint.
The fact-finding investigation of the case began with an anonymous complaint alleging that Purisima and other PNP officials siphoned funds from the mandatory delivery fees paid by gun owners. WERFAST was chosen as the courier agency to deliver firearms license cards.
The Memorandum of Agreement dated May 25, 2011 was a result of the PNP’s Oplan Katok which was intended to improve the system of monitoring legitimate gun owners.
According to the Office of the Ombudsman, documents revealed that the Civil Security Group (CSG) through Meneses approved the accreditation of WERFAST even before the company acquired accreditation from the FEO.
Purisima allegedly approved the MOA on February 12, 2013. The FEO, through Petrasanta, Parreno, Acierto, Reyes, Fabia, Calixto, Bautista, Tuazon and Zapata issued a resolution accrediting WERFAST on April 1, 2013.
“Fact-finding investigation disclosed that WERFAST was incorporated after the execution of the MOA, with a capitalization of only P65,000 and despite having failed to meet the requirements for accreditation such as the submission of a clearance from the PNP Directorate for Intelligence,” the anti-graft body said.
WERFAST also did not pay any taxes from 2011 to 2013 based on records from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, it added.
Records of the Department of Science and Technology – Postal Regulation Committee also showed that WERFAST was not accredited to engage in courier services in the country.
“Moreover, there were no records to show that WERFAST established an online facility for applications for renewal of firearms license,” it said.
The complaint further alleged that because of lack of track record and logistical capability, WERFAST engaged the services of LBC to deliver gun licenses.
“Based on FEO records, 90,455 firearms license cards were issued for delivery from March 2013 to March 2014,” the anti-graft body said.
The special panel will also hear the related complaint separately filed by private citizen Glenn Gerard Ricafranca against Purisima, Estilles, and WERFAST officials for plunder and violations of the Anti-Graft Law and the Government Procurement Reform Act.