Resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima can no longer cite executive privilege as an excuse not to divulge his communication with President Benigno Aquino III concerning the botched police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public order and safety, said that since the chamber has not received any request from Aquino himself invoking executive privilege, Purisima would have to disclose the text messages he exchanged with the President regarding the police operation at the resumption of the chamber’s hearings on the Mamasapano incident today.
Should Purisima refuse, Poe told dzBB radio Sunday that the senators “will see if we would need to compel him to read those [text messages].”
The former PNP chief previously cited executive privilege to refuse answering questions on what he had discussed with Aquino concerning the operation to nab terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman last Jan. 25.
Forty-four Special Action Force commandos died in a clash with Moro rebels while carrying out the police operation.
The senator said today’s hearing will focus on what Aquino knew regarding the top secret police operation, codenamed “Oplan Exodus,” and what he did with the information he received.
“The people won’t be satisfied until they’ve learned what was in the heart of the President when he learned of what happened,” Poe said.