Families of the slain 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were able to receive some semblance of justice from the Aquino administration, following the dismissal recently of resigned police chief Alan Purisima from the service.
It may be recalled that General Purisima was the “chief architect” of President Benigno Aquino III in the botched police operation in Mindanao last January, which resulted in the slaying of 44 police commandos during a firefight with Muslim rebels in the swampy areas of Mamasapano town.
We will find out in a few days, however, if the president will once again flex his “muscles” and aid his bosom friend (Purisima). He might even have to shield the erstwhile top cop from any criminal liability or prosecution. The disgraced police general served as the bodyguard of the president during the presidential term of his mother, the late Cory Aquino.
But I hope the president will respect the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman regarding the dismissal of Purisima and his fellow police officers from service if only to appease the sadness and grief suffered by the mothers, wives and children of the slain police commandos in the death of their loved ones.
Moving on, the President is expected to meet with DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to discuss police matters, among others, particularly the appointment of a permanent PNP chief to replace dismissed General Purisima. It is my hope that the president will not instruct Roxas to do some “maneuvering” to loosen the knot on the neck of his disgraced and corrupt police general.
Purisima and10 other ranking police officers were dismissed from service by the Office of the Ombudsman for entering into an anomalous contract worth P100 million with WerFast Documentary Agency. Aside from Purisima, others dismissed included Police Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, chief of the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Unit. Petrasanta was rumored to be the president’s top choice to replace Purisima as PNP chief.
Before their dismissal, both Purisima and Petrasanta were suspended by the Ombudsman late last year for the unrelated alleged participation in the sale of more than 1,000 assault rifles to members of the New People’s Army (NPA). Both police officers however denied the charges. The investigation on their possible involvement on the sale of rifles is still ongoing, however.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, in a consolidated decision, said Purisima and his other officers committed graft, misconduct and grave abuse of authority.
A businessman from Legazpi City had implicated Purisima and his 10 officers in the P100 million case alleging plunder as well as abuse of authority over the use of WerFast courier service to deliver firearms licenses all over the country.
Aside from dismissal from the police service, Purisima and the other officers’ retirement benefits have been forfeited – a huge blow to Purisima and the others who were career police officers. They will also be disqualified from re-employment in government service.
For all the things that he did and all the money he allegedly pocketed to buy his mansion in Nueva Ecija and his expensive and flashy SUV vehicles while chief of the PNP, his dismissal from the service and forfeiture of retirement benefits may not be enough. If you’d ask me, he should serve jail time together with all his co-accused in the P100 million anomalous contract they orchestrated in exchange for financial consideration as well as the alleged sale of 1,000 assault rifles to NPA members.
Purisima will probably join his fellow disgraced police officers and brother masons, all of them former PNP chiefs, in jail once the president’s term expires in May next year. Former PNP chiefs Avelino Razon and Jesus Verzosa are both facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.
General Verzosa is facing graft charges regarding the anomalous purchase of police rubber boats worth more than P131 million in 2009. He was also accused of orchestrating the purchase of police helicopters worth hundreds of millions of pesos during the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. These helicopters, when inspected, turned out to be second hand aircraft, instead of brand new as ordered. These helicopters remained junk as of this time.
General Razon, on the other hand, is facing graft charges over the anomalous repair and maintenance of the PNP’s light armored vehicles worth more than P400 million. The bogus repair and maintenance of these vehicles were reportedly done in 2007.
These three police generals are a disgraced to the PNP.
No wonder, every ranking police officer is willing to sell their souls to the devil provided they get to be the PNP chief. Imagine all the perks they will get – from free gasoline, meals as well as traveling allowance.
But the best is getting protection money from gambling lords worth millions of pesos, commissions from dealers doing business in Camp Crame, worth millions of pesos too and huge discounts whenever you buy expensive SUV vehicles.
This is true. All you gotta do is ask the three stooges: Purisima, Verzosa and Razon. I hope they all rot in prison. I’m pretty sure all the convicts in the National Bilibid Prison are all eagerly waiting for them. It is definitely going to be a warm welcome for the trio.
The same thing awaits Army General Jovito Palparan, known as the “Bergudo” to many activists and farmers. For the numerous “salvaged” killings and kidnappings he reportedly ordered, Palparan doesn’t deserve to be in a military jail facility.