VACC files usurpation charge vs Purisima over Mamasapano clash
Dismissed Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima is facing another charge for giving orders despite his suspension as the head of the police force during the planning of the Mamasapano raid in January last year.
Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption filed before the Office of the Ombudsman on Friday a charge for usurpation of official function against Purisima in connection with the Mamasapano clash that led to the death of more than 60 Filipinos.
“This is an offshoot of the recent reopening of the Senate Committee inquiry regarding Mamasapano massacre last January 2(7) as requested by Senator Enrile,” VACC chairman Dante Jimenez told reporters in an interview.
Jimenez said the evidence used in building the case was based on the transcript of the Senate inquiry last month, which he said glaringly showed that Purisima indeed performed official function while serving his suspension.
“Ito po ay ating hinain sa Ombudsman dahil suspended po siyang PNP chief noon, inutusan pa siya ni [President Benigno Aquino III] na gamitin ang posisyon niya sa operation dito sa paghuli kay Marwan,” Jimenez said.
(We filed this before the Ombudsman because while he was a suspended PNP chief then, President Aquino ordered him to use his position in the operation for the capture of Marwan.)
At the time of the planning of “Oplan Exodus,” Purisima was ordered suspended by the Ombudsman over corruption allegations on December 19, 2014.
But despite his suspension, President Aquino included him the meeting for Exodus on January 9, 2015, days before Special Action Force troopers went for jump off in Mamasapano on the eve of January 25, 2015.
During the January 9 meeting in Bahay Pangarap, Purisima told former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas to inform Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang and then PNP officer in charge Leonardo Espina “time on target,” or once the troopers are in the target area.
But Purisima said, he only gave an “advice, not an order.”
“(Purisima committed) usurpation of functions not only as the PNP chief but also, he gave direct orders to General Napeñas of SAF instead of relaying information to PNP OIC Leonardo Espina,” he said.
In the seven-page complaint, it said Purisima was guilty of usurping official functions as “he could not have legally participated in the planning and execution of the Oplan Exodus while under preventive suspension.”
“Due to his preventive suspension, he could not legally exercise the functions of his former office. Therefore, the acts of respondent Purisima in relation to Oplan Exodus constitute usurpation of official functions punishable under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code,” the complaint read. CDG
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