Ex-PNP chief seeks court nod for US trip

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima has asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to leave the country for nearly a month in order to attend an annual gathering of a freemasonic organization in the United States.

In his motion filed before the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division, Purisima asked the court to allow him to travel to Indiana and California for 26 days or from March 25 to April 19.

Purisima said he was invited by the Royal Order of Jesters to attend its “National Book and Annual Meeting for 2019” to be held in Indianapolis City, Indiana from April 3 to 7 as well as its “Book of the Play” Oakland Court chapter to be at Yosamite National Park in California from April 10 to 14.

The Royal Order of Jesters is described as a freemasonic fraternal organization. Purisima said he was appointed by the organization’s Philippine chapter, the Manila Court No. 198, to be its official representative in both events.

He said that to make the most out of his requested trip, he will also visit relatives in California.

Slew of cases

Purisima is facing a graft case before the Sixth Division in connection with the alleged anomalous courier service deal that the PNP entered into with Werfast Documentary Agency Inc. in 2011 for the delivery of firearms licenses.

Purisima is also facing eight counts of perjury before the court’s Second Division in connection with his alleged failure to declare several properties in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth from 2006 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2014.
Records, however, show that he has yet to file a similar travel motion before the Second Division.

Purisima is also facing cases of graft and usurpation of official functions before the court’s Fourth Division over the 2015 Mamasapano incident that left over 60 people dead, including 44 police commandos.

The proceedings of the cases, however, was held in abeyance since February 2018 in compliance with the temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court until it resolves the petition for certiorari filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), with the backing of the Office of the Solicitor General.

The VACC is pushing for heavier charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide against former president Benigno Aquino III, Purisima and former PNP  Special Action Force director Getulio Napeñas Jr.


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