MANILA, Philippines – The country’s top cop is not going down easily.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima on Tuesday, December 9, insisted that the Office of the Ombudsman’s order to suspend him for 6 months without pay was “patently illegal.”
In particular, Purisima through his lawyer Kristoffer James Purisima, said the order designating the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary to implement his preventive suspension was wrong since it is the National Police Commission (Napolcom) that has “administrative supervision and control” over the PNP.
In an interview with Rappler, Attorney Purisima clarified that the preemptive suspension order was not served. “[The suspension order] was not received by the PNP chief,” Attorney Purisima, a cousin of the PNP chief, added.
Purisima, still on leave for an official trip which he eventually cut short, did not report for work Tuesday. Nobody from the PNP chief’s office was authorized to receive the order.
Attorney Purisima said he did not know who in particular attempted to serve the order on behalf of the DILG.
DILG Secretary Mar Roxas is currently in Eastern Samar leading the national government’s efforts to help victims of Typhoon Ruby.
Roxas earlier said the DILG would follow the Ombudsman’s order, but did not elaborate on how it would do so.
It’s common knowledge in the PNP that Roxas and Purisima, who are both close to President Benigno Aquino III, don’t see eye to eye.
Purisima’s suspension stems from an allegedly anomalous contract inked between the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (CSG) and Werfast Documentation Services Inc during the PNP chief’s stint in the Civil Security Group (CSG). The FEO is under the CSG.
Purisima’s camp said ordering the DILG to implement the suspension order violated Section 6, Article XVI of the Constitution which states that the Napolcom “administers and controls” the national police force.
“Thus, the attempt by the DILG to implement the Preventive Suspension Order is patently illegal and will not be honored as it violates due process of law,” added Purisima’s lawyer.
Purisima’s camp insists the Napolcom, “as a collegial body,” should be the one tasked to implement the suspension order.
The Napolcom is composed of 6 officials: DILG Secretary Roxas as the chairman; Napolcom vice chairman and executive officer Eduardo Escueta; 3 commissioners; and Purisima himself as an ex-officio commissioner.
“We are under the rule of law. The Constitution and the laws that we cited are very clear in saying the PNP is under the administrative supervision and control of the Napolcom. Some may not realize the distinction between the DILG and the Napolcom,” said Attorney Purisima.
Purisima earlier said he would be filing a petition for a temporary restraining order against the Ombudsman’s suspension order before the Court of Appeals.
The deal between the FEO and Werfast is only 1 of 3 complaints against the controversial PNP chief pending before the Ombudsman.
Purisima also faces possible charges for allegedly underdeclaring a Nueva Ecija property and accepting donations to construct his official residence inside Camp Crame.
The PNP chief said he’s done everything aboveboard. – Rappler.com