A close ally of President Benigno Aquino III urged the Office of the Ombudsman to study the possibility of charging resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima with usurpation of authority for meddling in a police operation despite being suspended from his post.
“The Ombudsman should study the possibility of charging Purisima with usurpation of public functions, because at the time of his suspension, he was performing functions that belong to an official who would have the power to order operations,” Senate President Franklin Drilon told reporters.
Purisima was ordered suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman last December in connection with an alleged questionable contract entered into by the PNP with a courier service firm delivering firearms licenses.
Despite the suspension order, Purisima was still calling the shots in the January 25 police operation against terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The disastrous operation led to the deaths of 44 police commandos.
Purisima said he was merely giving an “advice” but sacked SAF director Getulio Napenas told the Senate committee investigating the Mamasapano incident that it was Purisima who gave him the go signal to proceed with the operation.
“Maliwanag na si Gen. Purisima ay hindi sinunod ang utos ng Pangulo na magcoordinate. Pangalawa, kahit siya ay under suspension, maliwanag na siya pa rin ang nagbibigay ng direksyon kay SAF Director Napeñas kung ano ang gagawin,” Drilon said.