MANILA - The head of a special police unit that arrested fugitive businessman Delfin Lee has been relieved of his post less than week after the arrest.
Speaking to radio DZMM, Task Force Tugis head Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa said he was surprised to learn that he had been appointed Central Visayas deputy regional director for operations based in Cebu City.
Capa questioned the timing of his relief, saying he has not even finished filing his report on Lee's arrest.
"Pare-pareho tayong nagtatanong bakit nagkaganun e. Sana ho pinalamig lamig niya muna, pinalipas niya muna ang ilang linggo bago niya ako in-assign sa Cebu, para ho kasi mainit pa. May tanong pa tapos bigla akong natanggal dito," he said.
He also said the transfer would mean he would have to wait another 6 months to 1 year before he can be promoted while his other colleagues get promoted ahead of him.
He said there is already a position in Camp Crame, headquarters of the Philippine National Police, he could be get if Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima would assign him there.
"Unang una, hinog na ako. Dumaan na ako sa dapat daanan -chief of staff, deputy director ng isang district. Kumbaga, maganda naman ang accomplishment ko the past how many years. Hinog na. Ang mangyayari, habang yung mga kasabay ko napo-promote na, ako maghihintay," he said.
Capa denied that the transfer is a demotion but noted that the process of promotion will take longer.
Task Force Tugis is a special police unit formed to go after the country's so-called "Big 5" fugitives. The 5 include Lee, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, former Coron mayor Mario Reyes, former general Jovito Palparan, and former Dinagat congressman Ruben Ecleo.
Elements of Task Force Tugis arrested Lee, president of Globe Asiatique, while he was leaving the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Ermita, Manila last Thursday.
Lee had been a fugitive for nearly two years after a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of allegedly defrauding the Pag-IBIG Fund of P6.6 billion.
His arrest was derided by his lawyers, who insisted that the Court of Appeals had already quashed the arrest warrant. Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the CA decision to quash Lee's arrest warrant.
Vice-President Jejomar Binay earlier said "influential persons" had tried to stop Lee's arrest to the point of even calling up the PNP chief.
Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali, an ally of President Aquino, later confirmed that he called up Purisima but only to inquire if the arrest warrant for Lee was still valid.
A PROMOTION, SAYS PNP CHIEF
In a press briefing on Thursday, PNP chief Purisima said Capa's transfer to Cebu is actually a promotion. He said the task force chief is "long overdue" for the position and that the move could lead to even further promotions for Capa inside the police force.
"This qualifies him to be an XO or deputy regional director for administration. Isang hakbang na lang ay magiging star ranked na siya," he said.
Purisima denied that Capa's transfer was due to a leak about the alleged pressure brought on the police force to release Lee.
He also denied that Umali asked him to release Lee.
"Walang nakakaarbor sa akin. Basta pagpapatupad ng batas, walang nakakaarbor sa akin," he said.