Purisima pleads Sandigan to allow him to visit son in US | Inquirer News

Purisima pleads Sandigan to allow him to visit son in US

/ 06:16 PM August 04, 2016

Dismissed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima pleaded to the Sandiganbayan to allow him to travel to the United States to visit his son, citing the need for the family to be complete after he had long been gone due to his years in government service.

Purisima made this comment in reply to the opposition filed against his travel motion by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which alleged that Purisima should not be allowed to travel because he is a flight risk.

READ: State lawyers oppose Purisima travel bid


Purisima refuted the prosecution’s claim that there is no necessity or urgency for him to go abroad to visit his son Jason Arvi, who is studying in California, from Sept. 5 to 27.


He said his travel motion has long been scheduled and anticipated, and is urgently needed because he had long been apart from his loved ones due to his long years of service as chief of the national police force.

“Accused has been in service with government for more than 38 years, and during that period, accused never had the opportunity to spend time with his entire family,” Purisima said in his motion through his lawyers.

Purisima said his visit abroad could be used to make up for lost time with his family.

“Accused dedicated his personal time, which should have been allotted to his family, to his service to the government and the Filipino people. As such, it was only recently that accused had the opportunity to make up for lost time with each other and to complete their family…,” he added.

Purisima said family as a basic unit of society should be given primary importance “especially when accused has dedicated his life to the service of the country.”

“Any custom, practice, or agreement which is destructive of the family shall not be recognized or given effect,” he said.


He said to dismiss his plea to be allowed to travel is a violation of his constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He refuted the prosecution’s claim that he is a flight risk, saying that he has the intention to return to the country because he believes the case against him has no basis and is politically-motivated.

He cited his experience on Dec. 3, 2014, when he was in Saudi Arabia and flew back to the Philippines upon hearing the news that he was suspended from service in connection with the graft investigation.

“Clearly, this fact shows that [the] accused is not a flight risk and has all the intention to face the charges against him,” he said.

In its comment opposition filed before the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division, the Office of the Special Prosecutor said Purisima did not indicate his itinerary in the three-week stay in US, warning that his escape from charges is possible.

“Accused failed to indicate his itinerary during his 22-day visit in the USA as it cannot be gainsaid that he will just be staying at the address indicated in his motion,” the prosecution said.

“It cannot therefore be denied that the probability of accused of not returning to the Philippines is very imminent,” it added.

In his travel motion, Purisima asked the court’s permission to visit his son Jason Arvi, who is studying at the Culinary Institute of America at St. Helena in California, from Sept. 5 to Sept. 27.
Purisima said his scheduled flight was booked way back March 2016.

“Prior to the filing of the present case, particularly on March 15, 2016, accused Purisima, together with his family, scheduled a flight to the United States of America from September 5 to 27, 2016… Accused Purisima will be staying at 1108 Pintail Drive, Suison City, California USA 94585,” the motion read.

Purisima, a friend of former President Benigno Aquino III, and 16 others were charged with one count of graft for acting allegedly with manifest partiality, evident bad faith and gross inexcusable negligence when they awarded the courier contract to the firm WerFast Documentary Agency, Inc.

READ: Purisima faces graft over anomalous courier deal

The prosecution said Purisima violated Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when he gave unwarranted benefit to Werfast.

Purisima entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Werfast and accredited the firm as the PNP’s courier service provider for all the firearms license applications despite its failure to comply with government regulations on courier services.

Purisima and the respondents also approved the delivery by courier of firearms license as a mandatory policy in the PNP.

The prosecution said Werfast failed to seek prior registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and failed to get authority from the Department of Transportation and Communications to operate a delivery service as well as an accreditation from the Department of Science and Technology.

Earlier, the Ombudsman dismissed Purisima and the others for the administrative offense of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and grave abuse of authority. The officials were forfeited  their retirement benefits and barred from being reemployed in government.

READ: Purisima, Petrasanta, 9 other PNP officers dismissed from service 

In ordering the graft charges, the Ombudsman said Purisima entered into a courier service contract with Werfast although the latter had no corporate existence and juridical personality when the PNP entered into a MOA in May 2011.

The Ombudsman found that no public bidding was conducted, and that the MOA was entered into although Werfast lacked the track record as a courier service company.

Besides the Werfast case, the Ombudsman also ordered the filing of graft and usurpation of powers charges against Purisima and sacked Special Action Force (SAF) commander Getulio Napeñas for violating the police chain of command in the botched anti-terror raid “Oplan Exodus” that resulted in the deaths of 44 elite cops in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. TVJ/rga

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READ: Ombudsman orders raps vs Purisima, Napeñas

TAGS: flight risk, Purisima, Sandiganbayan

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