Friday, February 6, 2015

Purisima's alleged resignation and its effects on the SAF44 scandal--a brewing constitutional issue waiting to break out

So, the "Powers That Be" thinks that it is beneficial for them to "sacrifice" PNP chief Alan Purisima and allow him to "resign." This is a response to the repeated calls publicly made by OIC PNP chief Leo Espina on the need to have just one "authority" managing the police force. With the revelation of Purism's role in the botched SAF operation, it appears that there are two power centers at the PNP, a cause of worry and confusion in the chain of command.

This is actually what is fuelling outrage not just among the ranks of the PNP, but from the public as well--the clear confusion in the chain of command. Who is really in control? Who really is in command? Seems like, this perspective is beginning to be pervasive since this "phenomenon" is not just affecting the police force, but even in the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Commission on Audit (CoA).

Notice that this problem is affecting the constitutional bodies of our fragile democracy. There are no heads of at least three critical bodies of our politic--CoA, Comelec and the PNP.

Because of the conflict in the chain of command, many believe that this is the direct and proximate cause why other troops, like the AFP and even of the PNP failed to provide augmentation support to the beleaguered SAF troopers.

Now, going back to Purism's resignation. I believe instead of placating heated passions, this will surely enflame the current situation and even opened a floodgate of questions.

For one--what is the true reason why Purisima is resigning? Is it because he just suddenly realised the confusion created to the chain of command caused by his suspension as PNP chief? If this is so, then, why only now and not when he was suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman? Surely, if he did indeed resigned due to this reason, then, he was probably pressured to do so. And who pressured him?

However, if Purisima did indeed resigned as an admission of his responsibility for the lives of those SAF troopers, then, another new question arises---so now, the palace is now admitting that the fault now reaches the highest echelons of power, because, truly, Purisima could not have acted alone. Remember that Purisima was suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman and by operation of law, was asked to dispensed of all his powers and authority over the PNP.

His suspension does not cure the problem of delegation of power. He was suspended for another reason and he is resigning due to another reason?

Yes, the President can delegate his power to another, but the delegation must be legal. Is it legal for the President to delegate power to a suspended PNP chief like Purisima? No. Why? Doing so means the President disrespecting the decision of an equal constitutional body which is the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman, a co-equal constitutional body, exercises the same powers as the President. By allowing and appointing Purisima to head this operation, the President actually broke the law. The aim of a suspension is to prevent the one being suspended from exercising his power and influence over the very institution where he allegedly committed an offence.

Now, with the President himself admitting during his televised speech last week that it was he and Purisima who led the operation and that they decided not to inform DILG secretary Roxas and OIC chief PNP Leo Espina, it is as if, the President tacitly admitted violating the Constitution.

This is clearly an obvious act of defiance against constituted authority, which the President has sworn to follow as his foremost duty.

Malacanan is digging its own grave and I believe there is really no way out from this issue.

Now, if the palace intended to begin whitewashing this issue thru this purported resignation, then, the palace is miscalculating the entire situation and is on the verge of a possible downfall. Probably, people in the palace hopes that, with this resignation, Purisima loses his position and therefore, not entirely in a viable position to testify or reveal what he knows.

Wrong.

Allowing Purisima to resign makes him just an ordinary citizen, subject to the pervasive powers of the Senate. By resigning, Purisima is now exposed and unprotected. He cannot be protected by the Executive. If he refuses to reveal the truth, Purisima can be jailed by the Senate. Is Purisima ready to totally destroy his reputation just to protect the President, his bosom buddy?

A coverup is not a good solution to this.