Chiz sees need to address 'dysfunctional' PNP
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2015 - 6:33pm

MANILA, Philippines - In the wake of the incident that killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) men in a bungled police operation in Maguindanao, Sen. Francis Escudero on Thursday said that the 'organizational dysfunction' within police hierarchy should be addressed to prevent operational lapses in the future.

He noted that some problems stemmed from having two perceived PNP chiefs, referring to suspended PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima and officer-in-chief Leonardo Espina.

“The Philippine National Police (PNP) is dysfunctional because the PNP chief has been suspended and an acting police chief is running the organization,” Escudero said.

Escudero was asked to react on the issue after no less than President Aquino revealed on Wednesday that he knew of the operation plan to go after Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Adhir alias Marwan.

Aquino also confirmed that Purisima had briefed him about the operations but the chief executive also distanced from questions whether he clearly gave a go signal for Purisima to pursue the target even if he has been suspended.

On the issue whether or not Interior and Local Government Sec. Manuel Roxas II was bypassed by Purisima, the senator said that will be one of the matters that the Senate panel has to find out during the hearing set on Feb. 4 next week.

Escudero shared President Aquino’s view that the incident should not be a reason for the administration to stop its pursuit of peace in Mindanao. 

“Sana po hindi tayo padalus-dalos sa ganyang decision,” the senator said over DzRH radio.

Escudero reiterated his call for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to stay away from the use of violence by surrendering their firearms in the wake of the killing of the SAF personnel.

The senator remained optimistic that the Senate inquiry into the matter will help shed light what transpired in last Sunday’s encounter.

Escudero said he wanted to know from government resource persons to explain the guidelines between the government forces and the MILF in terms of entering into so-called MILF territory. 

He noted that it is not the first time that uniformed personnel were waylaid by Moro rebels even during the supposed ceasefire.

On the issue of the peace process, Escudero said the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law should be given a chance to achieve peace in Southern Philippines.

He hopes that the peace process will be able to pass the test of constitutionality, sustainability and practically once it is implemented.

Meanwhile, in an advisory, the Senate of the Philippines is flying its flag at half mast until Sunday to “honor the fallen SAF officers and men in Mindanao and in line with the declared National Day of Mourning” on Friday.

BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW DIRECTOR GENERAL ALAN PURISIMA ESCUDERO FRANCIS ESCUDERO INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT SEC LEONARDO ESPINA MANUEL ROXAS MINDANAO PRESIDENT AQUINO PURISIMA
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