Ombudsman indicts Purisima, Napeñas over Mamasapano

Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - April 5, 2016 - 3:09am

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday found probable cause to file usurpation of authority and graft charges against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas over the Mamasapano clash.

In particular, the graft charge was for violating Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019).

Purisima and Napeñas were also found liable for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Investigation showed that the two former police officers coordinated a top level meeting with officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for Oplan Exodus despite Purisima's preventive suspension.

Records revealed that Purisima tasked the SAF to conceptualize the operation to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and ordered Napeñas to brief President Benigno Aquino III regarding the operation.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ruled that "during the period of Purisima’s suspension, he had no authority to perform the duties and functions, much less supervise and/or participate in the conceptualization, mission planning, and execution of a high risk police operation."

Morales stressed that Purisima should have informed the details of Oplan Exodus during the turnover of his duties and functions to then PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina.

The Ombudsman added that Napeñas committed the crime of usurpation of official functions with Purisima by taking orders from the suspended PNP chief.

"Purisima wielded his power and influence as Chief PNP, to induce Napeñas, who willingly allowed himself to be so induced, to violate the PNP chain of command, by giving instructions to, receiving recommendations from and approving the actions of Napeñas," the Ombudsman said.

The alternative penalty of fine equivalent to their one year salary was imposed to the two former PNP officials as Purisima was ordered dismissed from service in June 2015 and Napeñas retired in July 2015.

Purisima and Napeñas were also perpetually disqualified for reemployment in government service and their retirement benefits were forfeited.

Oplan Exodus led to the death of 44 SAF commandos during an encounter against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015.

RELATED: Purisima, Napeñas face charges for Mamasapano incident

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