Sacked task force head looks forward to Cebu welcome
MANILA, Philippines—All his bags are packed, he’s ready to go.
But Senior Supt. Conrad Capa had made sure he won’t be going quietly into the night—or to Cebu City.
Capa headed Task Force Tugis, the special police unit that captured Delfin Lee on March 6, until his unceremonious exit exactly a week after the arrest of the fugitive real estate magnate who is facing a syndicated estafa case in connection with a P7-billion housing scam in Pampanga.
Maintaining that his transfer was not a reward, Capa on Sunday said he would abide nevertheless by the decision of Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima to ship him to the Central Visayas police office in Cebu.
“I’m OK now. My friends are actually waiting for me (in Cebu). I’m ready for my flight on Tuesday,” he said in a phone interview.
Asked if he knew the real reason for his sacking as task force head, he said: “Yes, I think I know the reason behind it. There’s no other explanation for it. But I’d rather not talk about it.”
He said he would join members of the 114-strong task force in a boodle fight at Camp Crame Monday, a gathering that was originally set as a victory celebration for Lee’s arrest.
“Unfortunately, it turned out to be a despedida (send-off) party for me,” he said.
Capa said he submitted his report to Purisima on Friday, a day after he lambasted the PNP chief on national media for transferring him to Cebu.
He said he recommended the promotion of his subordinates who participated in the hunt for Lee.
He said he had also endorsed the release of the P2 million reward to the unidentified tipster who helped them find Lee, who went into hiding after a Pampanga court ordered his arrest in May 2012.
An Inquirer source said Purisima “is still fuming mad” at Capa for publicly rebuking him and questioning the motive for what the PNP chief insisted was a “promotion” for Capa.
“Like a father, the PNP chief thought Capa should have talked to him first before he went on national television to accuse [Purisima] of relieving him for ill motives,” the source said.
Capa admitted that his subordinates “are all low morale” with the sudden development in the task force, which Purisima himself created in August last year for the sole purpose of tracking down the five most wanted fugitives in the country.
Purisima will temporarily take over as task force head pending the designation of Capa’s replacement.—Marlon Ramos
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