Lawyer tells PNP chief: Respond to plunder complaint

Posted at 04/26/14 6:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima was asked on Thursday to just answer the P100-million plunder complaint lodged against him and other police officials before the Office of the Ombudsman, rather than passing the blame on a former PNP chief.

Coile Fiel, lawyer of complainant Glenn Gerard Ricafranca, said the PNP chief should respond to the complaint filed against him and other respondents, including courier firm Werfast Documentation Agency, rather than passing the blame on retired PNP chief Raul Bacalzo.

Ricafranca, who is from Legazpi City, Albay earlier filed a complaint of plunder and graft against Purisima, former chief of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles and officials of Werfast, in relation to the PNP's tapping of the firm as its official courier for firearms license cards.

Ricafranca claimed that the agreement was "highly anomalous" as it was signed between the PNP and Werfast, headed by retired Chief Supt. Ireneo Bacolod, who once headed the PNP Civil Security Group (CSG) which administers the FEO.

The existence of the agreement came into public after Purisima shut down all the satellite offices of the FEO around the country and centralized the processing of gun licenses at the head office of the FEO at Camp Crame.

The shutdown of all the satellite offices and the appointment of Werfast as the sole delivery courier of the PNP for the processed license cards of gun owners raised a howl of protest, as the courier company charged P190 for every card delivered, which gun owners branded as "excessive."

PNP public information office head Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac defended Purisima, citing that the PNP chief only assumed his position in 2012, while the memorandum of agreement with Werfast was signed in 2011 under Bacalzo.

But Fiel dismissed Sindac’s statement as he questioned the courier firm’s capability to deliver on the agreement.

"The most important fact about WerFast is that its authorized capital is only P1 million, the subscribed capital is only P250,000 and the paid-up capital is only P62,500. How can such a small amount guarantee a multi-million transaction with the government?" he said.

Purisima earlier labelled the complaint as "amateurish" and was just meant to discredit the PNP.

"Obviously, the case filed against us has no basis. It's an amateurish move meant to discredit the PNP," he said. "The PNP did not spend a single centavo for that project. How can that constitute plunder?"