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Aquino defends PNP chief: ‘Purisima stays’

Natashya Gutierrez
The President says this is not the first time scalawags surfaced in the police force, but 'through the leadership of General Purisima, it was fellow policemen who pursued them'

PURISIMA STAYS. President Benigno Aquino III (center) defends PNP Chief Alan Purisima (right) from calls for Purisima to resign. File photo by Rey Baniquet/Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima is not going anywhere, as long as the President has a say in the matter.

On Friday, September 12, President Benigno Aquino III defended Purisima amid calls for his resignation after an extortion incident on the road wherein rogue cops turned out to be involved

In a speech in Malacañang, wherein Aquino outlined his administration’s achievements, Aquino praised the reforms instituted in the PNP under Purisima and said the top cop would stay in his post.

Kahapon nga po, pinagbibitiw, sa isang pahayagan, sa puwesto si General Alan Purisima, na pinuno ng PNP, dahil daw may mga scalawag sa kanyang hanay. Tanungin ko lang po: Ngayon lang ba lumitaw ang mga scalawags na ito o ngayon lang ba nagkaroon ng scalawags sa ating pong serbisyo?” the President said.

(Yesterday, one news station asked General Alan Purisima to resign as head of the PNP because of rogue cops in his ranks. Let me just ask: Is this the first time rogue cops like these surfaced or is it the first time we’re hearing about rogue cops in the service?)

Totoong may scalawag, pero sino po ba ang nakahuli sa mga nang-hulidap sa EDSA? Mga pulis din po. Sa pamumuno ni General Purisima, ang nag-imbestiga, tumugis, at nakadakip sa mga salarin na ngayon ay kinasuhan na, kapwa po nila pulis,” Aquino said.

(It’s true there are rogue cops, but who caught those that extorted in EDSA? They were policemen, too. Through the leadership of General Purisima, it was fellow policemen who investigated, pursued, caught, and filed a case against them).

Aquino said the PNP has also solved a number of high-profile crimes.

Makatuwiran po bang pagbitiwin sa puwesto si General Purisima na namumuno sa mga pulis na ginagawa nang mahusay ang kanilang trabaho?” he said. (Is it just to ask General Purisima to leave his post, when he heads a police force that is doing its job well?)

The President said the police force now enjoys a drastically improved image, brought forth by reforms, such as the modernization of equipment, the benefits given to police, and the changing culture inside of the system.

In the past, he said, the police were content in identifying a suspect, but today cases are never dropped until no one is put to justice. He also said the crimes are now investigated systematically and scientifically.

Aquino also took the chance to praise Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II for the changes in the PNP, which falls under his department. Roxas is the presumed standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party for 2016. (READ: How do you solve a problem like Mar Roxas?)

Purisima was appointed top cop by Aquino in 2012, but he is no stranger to controversy. The PNP chief has been dragged into a controvery over a delivery service deal in the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) and the “delisting” of wanted businessman Delfin Lee

Aquino has been accused of protecting Purisima due to their closeness. Purisima once served as aide of the late President Corazon Aquino, mother of the President. As a member of the Presidential Security Group then, Purisima was assigned specifically to guard the young Aquino, who would later become president, too.

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