Resigned or not, suspended Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima should still face investigation for his alleged role in the bloody mission to get two wanted terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, Vice President Jejomar Binay and several lawmakers said.
By: Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com
February 6, 2015 8:46 AM
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines — Resigned or not, suspended Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima should still face investigation for his alleged role in the bloody mission to get two wanted terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, Vice President Jejomar Binay and several lawmakers said.
A number of investigations are underway to shed light on the January 25 incident that led to the deaths of 44 Special Action Force commandos, at least four civilians and 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters.
The Philippine National Polices board of inquiry and the Commission on Human Rights have started their investigations. The Department of Justice has said it will undertake its own investigation while the Senate and the House of Representatives will begin their respective probes next week.
Various groups and lawmakers are also pushing for the creation of a truth commission to undertake an independent inquiry while the peace panels of the government and MILF have announced a joint investigation through the International Monitoring Team, which helps oversee the peace process in Mindanao.
Purisima, who was slapped a six-month suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman in January over graft charges, is alleged to have planned the Mamasapano operation, which targeted Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Filipino Abdul Basit Usman, both bomb experts with bounties on their heads from the US government.
Marwan is said to have been killed in the operation.
President Benigno Aquino III has also come under fire for supposedly allowing Purisima to handle the Mamasapano mission despite being suspended. In a nationwide address following the incident, Aquino, while saying Purisimas direct involvement in efforts to get Marwan ended with his suspension, acknowledged that the PNP chief had helped explain the intricacies of the operation.
Very recently, Director Getulio Napenas, the relieved SAF commander, confirmed that Purisima had instructed him to inform acting PNP chief Leonardo Espina of the operation only pag nadoon na kayo (when you are already there) in Mamasapano and that he had not reported at all to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, whose department has jurisdiction over the police. This corroborated the statements of Espina and Roxas that they had been left out of the loop on Mamasapano.
Aquino also raised suspicions he may have had a more direct hand in the operation after he complained that his advice to Napenas to coordinate with other security forces had been met with very minimal compliance.
Late Thursday afternoon, reports began circulating in two media outlets, quoting Palace sources as saying that supposedly, President Aquino told a dozen Cabinet members Purisima had resigned and he accepted it. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., however, said they had no information on this and Purisimas lawyer also reportedly denied he had quit. Speculations then swirled that a faction of the Cabinet was deliberarely leaking the information in order to force the hand of the President.
For his part, Vice President Jejomar Binay said Purisima’s resignation, if true, should not absolve him from accountability for the Mamasapano incident.
“Resignation should not be used as a subterfuge for the truth in the bloody encounter in Mamasapano. Purisima must still face the investigation in order to shed light on what was actually his participation in the operation¦” Binay said through his spokesman for political affairs, lawyer Rico Quicho.
Section 12 of Republic Act 3019, the Antigraft and Corrupt Practices Law provides that a superior official cannot accept the resignation of a government employee who is facing charges in court, in order to ensure the employee will properly answer those charges. Purisima was suspended administratively by the Ombudsman over the unexplained wealth case filed against him, but the charge has not been elevated to the antigraft court, the Sandiganbayan.
Party-list Representatives Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna and Terry Ridon of Kabataan, on the other hand, said President Benigno Aquino III should follow Purisimas cue and quit as well.
“Purisima’s resignation does not change the fact that the primary responsible for the botched operation is President Aquino himself and he should also resign,” Colmenares said.
Ridon called Purisima’s reported resignation an admission of guilt.
“Purisima couldn’t have acted alone in this operation. Clearly, Aquino greenlighted Operation Wolverine and is equally, if not more, responsible for the bloodbath. That is why Aquino should follow suit, he added.
Ridon said Purisima should also surface and break his silence on the operation.
Purisima can provide the missing pieces in the puzzle and can prove and explain Aquino’s involvement in the botched operation. Now that he has tendered his resignation, he should not let Aquino’s power and influence get the better of him. For the sake of your fallen men, General Purisima, spill the beans, he said.