Poe tells embattled PNP chief: Let go

Bea Cupin
Poe tells embattled PNP chief: Let go

Mark Fredesjed R. Cristino

Senator Grace Poe, who has led an investigation into the PNP, urges Director General Alan Purisima to think about the welfare of the institution first

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe urged embattled Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima to look at the bigger picture and to “think of the institution before himself.”

“Sabi nga nila, kapag masyado kang nakakakapit sa p’westo mo, minsan nakakalimutan mo ‘yung tunay na layunin ng paninilbihan,” Poe told reporters in a chance interview on Wednesday, December 10. (It’s been said that when you cling on to power too closely, you tend to forget the real purpose of your service.)

Senator Grace Poe during a Senate hearing on the PNP

Isipin ‘yung institusyon bago ang sarili. Sa tingin ko hindi naman kulang sa kakayanan ang PNP na manatiling maayos at gawin ang kanilang trabaho sa kasalukuyang mayroong ibang liderato,” the neophyte senator added.

(Let’s think of the institution before ourselves. In my view, PNP is lacking in capability to do their job well under a different leadership.)

Purisima has been ordered suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman for 6 months, as it conducts its investigation into Purisima’s involvement in an allegedly anomalous deal between the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Office and courier service Werfast.

Although the PNP chief has “acknowledged” the suspension order against him, he has questioned why the Ombudsman ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement it when the National Police Commission (Napolcom) has administrative supervision of the PNP.

Purisima, through his lawyers, has also asked the Court of Appeals to stop the Ombudsman’s preventive suspension order.

Take time off

Ang Ombudsman na ang nagsalita, lahat naman ng sangay ng gobyerno ay napapailalim sa utos ng Ombudsman,” said Poe, while adding she saw nothing wrong with Purisima challenging the Ombudsman’s decision. (The Ombudsman has spoken. All branches of government follow the orders of the Ombudsman.)

Purisima, who was appointed PNP chief in December 2012, is set to retire in November 2015. Should he heed the 6-month suspension, he would only have around 5 more months to serve as chief of the 150,000-strong PNP.

Pagkakataon niya iyon para maisaaayos kung ano man ang kailangan niyang gawin para sa kanyang pagdepensa sa sarili,” added Poe.  (This is his chance to properly prepare for his eventual defense.)

The senator previously chastised Purisima’s for being a no-show during a Senate hearing on the PNP.

Purisima eventually attended the next hearing chaired by Poe wherein senators took turns grilling him over the state of the PNP and the controversies surrounding him.

Aside from the Werfast deal, Purisima is alleged to have under-declared a property in Nueva Ecija. Complainants have also questioned why Purisima accepted donations from his friends to construct his official residence inside Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Despite the waves of controversies, Purisima has insisted in his innocence.

One of his biggest defenders is no less than President Benigno Aquino III, although it remains unclear if Aquino and Purisima have spoken since the suspension order was announced. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.