ALTHOUGH resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima may not have said it directly, he essentially called his boss as a liar by disputing PNoy’s declaration before House leaders that the ex-PNP chief fed Aquino “lies” on the day of the Mamasapano operation.
We recall that during the four-hour meeting with lawmakers in Malacañang last Tuesday, PNoy said that he had given specific instructions to Napeñas on the need for coordination with the AFP and for Purisima to inform PNP OIC Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina. PNoy says he found out later that his instructions had not been followed.
When asked by a congressman whether he was given inaccurate information, PNoy was quoted as replying: “They are not only inaccurate, they are lies. Don’t you think these are not lies with these?”
Another lawmaker who was present during that Malacañang meeting confirmed PNoy’s revelation saying: “It was very clear that the President was not only misled, he was lied to. That was [PNoy’s] word, he was lied to by Gen. [Alan] Purisima because the texts of Purisima said that the support of the artillery of the Armed Forces Mechanized Brigade has already started, that there was already support in that encounter.”
However, in a press statement issued by Purisima’s camp the next day, the ex-PNP chief’s lawyer says Purisima “did not lie to President Benigno S. Aquino III about the status of Operation Exodus in the morning of 25 January 2015.” Purisima’s lawyer also said that “(i)t is not in PDG Purisima’s character to relay inaccurate information to the President….throughout their decades of professional and personal relationship…”
By his press statement, what Purisima is really saying is that PNoy wasn’t telling the truth. In other words, PNoy is a liar for calling him a liar.
We’re sure Palace bootlickers will disagree. But then, who would know PNoy best than his trusted friends like Purisima, right?
That PNoy is now washing his hands of the Mamasapano disaster clearly shows that Malacañang is in panic mode. Palace spinmeisters are desperately trying to extricate PNoy from the mess that their “boss” created.
Part of their strategy is to publicly pin the blame on Purisima and ex-PNP Special Action Force (SAF) Director Napenas in order to deflect responsibility from PNoy. Many thinking Filipinos know this is just “moro-moro.” We doubt that PNoy will crucify his close and trusted friend Purisima.
If PNoy really believed that Purisima and Napeñas were jointly responsible for the Mamasapano fiasco, he should have immediately ordered the filing of dismissal charges against them. But it’s been more than a month since the incident and no police official has been punished let alone charged for the botched Mamasapano operation.
In the haste to absolve PNoy, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima even came up with a novel (though absurd) legal theory that the “chain of command” does not apply to the PNP because it is a civilian and not a military organization.
We don’t know where De Lima got this concept but if her argument is to be believed, we would be the only country in the world that has a police organization without a chain of command. This means any policeman can do as he pleases provided some higher-up – not necessarily his immediate superior – approves (or tolerates) his actions. Nothing could be more ridiculous.
Anyway, it is De Lima’s theory that’s being used by Malacañang to clear PNoy of any wrongdoing for the Mamasapano debacle. According to presidential mouthpiece Edwin Lacierda, PNoy is free of any liability even if he had consulted Purisima (who was then already suspended) because the ex-PNP chief was “no longer in the line of authority” when he met with PNoy on January 9 regarding the plans for the commando operation.
This “no-chain-of-command” argument, however, is contradicted by Purisima’s own admission that he was ordered by PNoy to inform PNP officer-in-charge (OIC) Leonardo Espina about Oplan Exodus. By directing Purisima to brief the PNP-OIC on the Mamasapano operation, PNoy clearly knew that a chain of command did exist in the PNP.
Moreover, why did PNoy have to ask Purisima to notify Espina about Oplan Exodus? He could have easily called Espina directly.
Obviously, Purisima was not merely acting as a “consultant” (as Lacierda wants us believe) but was, in truth, spearheading the Mamasapano operation, with the full knowledge and consent of PNoy. This was why PNoy was texting Purisima rather than Espina. In fact, during their exchange of text messages, not once did PNoy ask what Espina was doing. Instead, PNoy was giving directives to Purisima as if the latter was still the PNP chief.
It is now apparent that PNoy knowingly disobeyed not only the chain of command but also the Ombudsman’s suspension order against Purisima. In so doing, he violated his sworn duty to “obey the legal orders [of]duly constituted authorities.” That’s undeniably a betrayal of the public trust.