Resigned Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima could be charged with usurpation of authority for giving instructions on a law enforcement mission despite his being suspended from post, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Monday.
“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 of a public official who have the power to direct the operations,” Drilon told reporters.
“Because (it was) very clear that he gave the go-signal which he should not be doing,” he added.
Purisima has been under suspension since December 2014 over graft charges.
Drilon said it was clear that Purisima did not follow the order of President Benigno Aquino III for him to coordinate with other officials.
During the Senate hearing on Mamasapano clash Monday upon the questioning of Drilon, relieved Special Action Force chief Director Getulio Napeñas Jr. admitted that it was Purisima who gave him the go-signal to push through with the Oplan Exodus.
Drilon read the text message of Purisima to Napeñas on January 13 which said: "OK na, go for the secondary schedule.” Napeñas had recommended to the suspended PNP chief that the SAF set the operation on January 23 to 26.
The operation was conducted on January 25 and the SAF troopers were able to shoot Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan dead but 44 of them died during the ensuing hours-long gunfight with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and its splinter group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Another target, Filipino bomb-maker Basit Usman was able to escape.
Drilon said it was also appropriate for the Senate panels probing the Mamasapano incident to include in its recommendation or report the liability of Purisima.
“Is there any administrative or criminal liability for Purisima for having given instructions kahit po suspendido na siya maliwanag na siya pa rin ang nagbibigay ng instruction. Yung sinasabi ni Purisima na advice, ang sabi ni Napeñas yan ay order galing sa taas. So maliwanag na talagang si Purisima ang nagbibigay ng instruction,” he said. —NB, GMA News.
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