Top Philippine police chief ordered dismissed over contract

AP News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2015 7:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' anti-graft prosecutor on Tuesday ordered the national police chief and 10 other officers dismissed from the service for approving a contract to deliver gun licenses with a courier company that had no track record.

Police Director General Allan Purisima and the other officers also are being investigated for possible criminal violations of the anti-corruption law, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from Purisima and the others, who can still appeal the order.

The officers had been under suspension for six months without pay since December.

Purisima resigned in early February after 44 police commandos were killed in an operation that killed one of Asia's most-wanted terror suspects. He was allegedly involved in the operation despite his suspension.

Despite resigning from his post as national police chief, Purisima still retains his rank, which is an obstacle to replacing him before his official retirement in November.

The statement from the ombudsman's office said Carpio-Morales "found substantial evidence" that Purisima and the others entered into "an anomalous courier service contract" with the Werfast Documentary Agency in 2011 and that Purisima "exerted pressure and coercion" on his subordinates to have the contract approved.

When the national police signed a memorandum of agreement with Werfast in May 2011, the company was not even incorporated. The company paid a "measly capitalization" of only 65,000 pesos ($1,440) when it finally incorporated three months later, the statement said.

It said investigators also determined that Werfast had no authority, manpower, logistic capability and machinery to engage in courier services. It also did not pay taxes and lacked the required capital of at least 500,000 pesos ($11,000) to operate in more than two regions in the country.

Lacking experience, it contracted a courier company, but charged more than double what that courier company would have charged for delivering more than 90,000 firearms licenses before it was suspended in early 2014.

Purisima is also under investigation for allegedly undervaluing his properties, including a mansion in a large estate in his northern home province of Nueva Ecija.