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Purisima out

  • Written by EMontano, Marlon Purificacion
  • Published in Top Stories
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Featured Alan Purisima Alan Purisima

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III yesterday said he had accepted the resignation of suspended Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima “effective immediately.”
     
Aquino said it was difficult for him to let Purisima go especially in the prevailing circumstances surrounding the massacre of 44 PNP-Special Action Force members who have been dubbed the “Fallen 44.”
   
The commandos had carried out an operation codenamed “Wolverine,” which was conceived by Purisima, aimed at capturing international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and his local cohort Abdul Basit Usman.

The President said it was well known that he and Purisima had been close since the 1987 coup against his mother, the late President Cory Aquino. He cited the top police official’s loyalty to him even when he was with the opposition which put in peril the police general’s career.
   
In his second televised speech about the Mamasapano incident Aquino appeared to lay the blame on the operation commander, whom he did not name, saying the officer knew the changes on the ground and should have aborted the dangerous mission but did not.
   
He said the officer in question would have a chance to explain his side before the Board of Inquiry.
   
The President also assured the families of the slain and wounded SAF members of the government’s sympathies and assistance.
   
In last week’s address, Aquino admitted to knowing about the operation to arrest Filipino bomb maker Abdulbasit Usman and Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli bin Hir—also known as “Commander Marwan,”whose death has been confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation through a DNA test.
   
The Mamasapano incident has  stalled congressional deliberations on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, envisioned to  embody the peace deal signed by the government and the MILF, which seeks to create a new political entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Senate probe
 
Senator. Grace Poe yesterday said she was expecting Purisima to attend the Senate probe into the Mamasapano incident despite reports that he already quit his post.
    
“Nag-kumpirma na siya (Purisima) bago siya nag-resign. Wala namang dahilan kung bakit sa ngayon hindi siya maaaring dumalo. Umaasa naman tayo na dadalo siya,” Poe said in a radio9 interview.
    
Poe said he expected that Purisima would honor his previous commitment to attend the Monday and Tuesday hearings next week despite his resignation.
    
Poe, who is leading the investigation as head of the committee on public order, said the public should also know the reason behind Purisima’s resignation if indeed the report was true.
    
“Dahil ba may kinalaman siya dito o dahil nawawala ang kumpiyansa sa kanyang liderato? So yung nilalaman o kadahilanan ng kanyang pagbibitiw ay kailangan ding malaman,” the senator added.
 
Purisima is among the officials who had committed to attend the Senate probe. The others are Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio Catapang, Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Justice Sec. Leila de Lima, and other military officials.
    
Poe also urged the top officials of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) to attend the probe.
 
“Pero wala pa po akong kumpirmasyon kay PNP-SAF Napeñas at PNP-SAF officer in charge Taliño,” she said referring to sacked SAF commader Police Director Getulio Napeñas and SAF officer in charge Noli Taliño.
   
“’Yun po ang napakahalaga na sana’y dumalo sila at ‘yung survivor natin kasi sila po ang nakakaalam din ng nangyari sa ground eh kailangan talaga sila kaya pinapa-follow up ko. Pero as of yesterday nananatiling hindi pa sila confirmed,”she added.
    
The senator said she could not understand why the SAF officials had not confirmed their attendance when one of them had already faced a press conference.
 
She was apparently referring to Napeñas, who faced the media to defend the SAF from criticisms over the death of its 44 comrades during the botched Mamasapano operation in Maguindanao last January 25.