PNP unaffected by chief’s suspension – Roxas

Bea Cupin

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PNP unaffected by chief’s suspension – Roxas
The DILG chief, who is also chairman of the National Police Commission, says serving the suspension order against PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima is not ‘personalistic’

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel Roxas II on Thursday, December 11, said the national police force would remain unaffected despite the preventive suspension of its chief.

Steady lang sa trabaho. Ang PNP naman ay matatag na institusyon at ang mga pangyayaring ito ay natatawid naman. Meron namang protocol sa chain of command,” Roxas told reporters at the sidelines of a meeting on government’s post-Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) response. (Work continues. The PNP is a strong institution and situations like this one are not a problem.)

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima was preventively suspended for 6 months last week, as the Office of the Ombudsman investigates his links to an anomalous deal between the PNP and a courier service.

While Purisima has “acknowledged” the suspension, the PNP chief has lodged a motion for a temporary restraining order against the suspension.

He earlier called the DILG’s implementation of the warrant “patently illegal” because it’s the National Police Commission (Napolcom) that has administrative control over the PNP.

Both Roxas and Purisima are part of the Napolcom: Roxas as its chairman and Purisima as its ex-officio commissioner.

Chain of command

With Purisima suspended, the PNP’s number 3 man, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, is the PNP’s office-in-charge. Espina is the next-in-command to Purisima, after the PNP’s number 2 official, former Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas Jr, retired last week.

As OIC, Espina has the power to reassign officials or send special teams to investigate or handle an issue, Roxas said.

Malawak ang kapangyarihan ng OIC (The OIC has vast powers),” said Roxas, while adding that the Napolcom has yet to clarify the full extent of a PNP OIC’s powers.

Never mapapatid ang chain of command na iyan (The chain of command will never fail),” he said, citing the PNP’s continuing work against criminality and after Ruby work.

In fact, Roxas told reporters, despite the controversy surrounding the PNP, crime incidents in the National Capital Region continued to go down as a result of the regional command’s “Oplan Lambat-Sibat.” (READ: Poe tells embattled PNP chief: Let go)

Roxas said the PNP is not personality-driven, and that it functions depending on how well people perform their functions. So far, he said, they are doing their job right.

‘Nothing personal’

Roxas downplayed reports that Purisima initially “resisted” the implementation of the suspension.

Linawin ko lang, ano? Hindi ito personalan, hindi ito personalistic. Nag-utos ang Ombudsman na i-serve itong suspension order at ‘yun lang naman ang ginawa namin,” said Roxas. (Let’s make this clear: this is nothing personal. It’s not personalistic. The Ombudsman told us to serve the suspension order so we did.)

It’s no secret in Camp Crame that the DILG chief and Purisima, both close to President Benigno Aquino III, do not always see eye-to-eye.

Roxas also declined to comment on Purisima himself, when asked if his suspension was a “welcome” development.

“It’s not for me to comment on the situation of Director General Purisima with the Ombudsman. Ang punto ko rito, para sa ating mga kababayan, maaasahan po ninyo na all out ang PNP (My point is, every Filipino should know that the PNP is all out in doing its job),” said Roxas. –

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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.