Purisima refuses access to call, text logs
MANILA, Philippines – Third time wasn’t a charm.
Resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima on Wednesday, April 8, again declined a request for access to his call and text logs during a controversial police operation that claimed the lives of 67 Filipinos, including 5 civilians, 18 Muslim rebels, and 44 elite cops.
“The data that can be collected may go to other purposes that’s why we are not agreeing to that,” said Purisima during the Wednesday hearing of the House of Representatives on “Oplan Exodus,” a January 25 SAF operation that targeted Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan” and Filipino bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman.
ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio clarified that the logs would only show the numbers of those Purisima contacted and the time the texts and calls were made.
The House of Representatives committee would not have access to the context of the text messages. (READ: Mamasapano: Text messages show Aquino knew details)
Purisima did not budge.
“Unfortunately, mukhang no po ang sagot ni General Purisima (it seems like General Purisima’s answer is no). Let’s leave it at that,” said Tinio.
At least 3 investigative bodies have asked permission from Purisima to scrutinize his call and text logs on January 25 and possibly the days preceding and following the operation. (READ: Mamasapano probe: No Purisima interview)
Purisima, who was serving a suspension order during the Mamasapano clash, was a key personality in “Oplan Exodus.” The four-star police general sat in briefings prior to the operation and was sending and receiving information as the crisis in the Mamasapano was escalating.
The Senate asked for Purisima’s call and text log, while the PNP’s Board of Inquiry (BOI) asked Purisima to submit his cellphone for forensic investigation.
The general, who on January 25 was in his Nueva Ecija home, was giving updates to President Benigno Aquino III himself from 5:45 am to 11:38 am, or around the time the firefight between the 55th Special Action Company and the MILF was as its most intense.
Purisima’s next text message to Aquino came at 6:20 pm. By that time, Aquino had already spoken to military officers about the situation in Mamasapano.
Purisima was also in close communication with personalities involved in the operation, including police and military officials, and a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) contact.
According to the BOI, some of the information provided to Purisima by his MILF contact may have been false. The BOI also noted that Purisima failed to verify the information, which, coupled with sacked PNP SAF chief Police Director Getulio Napeñas’ “misleading” information, contributed to the bloodshed in Mamasapano.
Purisima denies he lied to the President about the situation of SAF troopers during “Oplan Exodus,” the bloodiest one-day operation in PNP history. – Rappler.com