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Nation

‘Reinstate sacked P’sinan police director’

- Eva Visperas -
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Surprised by the sudden relief of the provincial police director this week, Gov. Victor Agbayani wrote Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno asking that he be reinstated.

In his letter faxed to Puno’s office, Agbayani said the relief of Senior Superintendent Alan Purisima was "unfair and counter-productive" as he cited the latter’s accomplishments during his nine-month stint as provincial police director.

Purisima was relieved allegedly due to his failure to stamp out illegal gambling, particularly video machines locally known as ameneng or hataw.

Agbayani said it has come to his attention that Purisima was relieved after operatives of the Task Force Against Illegal Gambling seized video machines in Urdaneta City and Bautista and Alcala towns.

Agbayani, however, said the task force members behind these raids have been charged in court for alleged extortion.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Arturo Lomibao disbanded the task force last March 16 and transferred its functions to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

"We therefore respectfully ask why should the basis of his (Purisima’s) relief be the report of a discredited group," Agbayani asked.

He said Purisima had performed professionally, and based on public knowledge, had made the province jueteng-free during his stint.

Agbayani said the provincial police under Purisima’s leadership had confiscated 247 ameneng machines.

"His relief — or changing horses in midstream, so to speak — will disrupt and set back these operations and our efforts to preserve peace and order in our province," he said.

AGBAYANI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND DETECTION GROUP DIRECTOR GENERAL ARTURO LOMIBAO INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECRETARY RONALDO PUNO PANGASINAN PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PURISIMA SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT ALAN PURISIMA TASK FORCE AGAINST ILLEGAL GAMBLING URDANETA CITY AND BAUTISTA AND ALCALA VICTOR AGBAYANI
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