Purisima pleads not guilty to Mamasapano raps

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2017 04:40 PM

MANILA – Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima pleaded not guilty to the charges related to the botched Mamasapano raid in Maguindanao last January 25, 2015.

Purisima and former PNP-Special Action Force chief Getulio Napeñas were earlier charged with graft and usurpation of official functions before the Sandiganbayan for the botched operation which led to the death of over 60 people, including 44 SAF commandos.

Purisima is accused of usurpation after performing functions of a PNP chief in the mission planning and supervision of Oplan Exodus while suspended over another pending case on the WERFAST courier service anomaly.

Napeñas, meanwhile, was also charged for following orders from the then-suspended PNP chief, bypassing then-Officer-in-Charge PNP chief Deputy Director Leonardo Espina.

Napeñas allegedly conspired with Purisima after constantly answering and providing operational updates to the suspended police chief.

The Ombudsman also noted their actions of approving the final date of the operation and time-on-target coordination of the operation.

For the graft case, Purisima allegedly persuaded, induced or influenced Napeñas to violate the PNP chain of command, as well as the Ombudsman's preventive suspension and Espina's cease and desist orders against Purisima.

The pre-conference, or the stage set for marking of documentary evidence for Purisima's cases has been set on April 6, 7, 21, and 28. 

His pre-trial, meanwhile, is set on May 3. A pre-trial is mandatory prior the actual trial. During this stage, the prosecution and defense parties will identify the evidence and limit the number of witnesses to be presented in the actual trial. The issues to be discussed are also set at this stage.

Meanwhile, his co-accused Napeñas has not yet been arraigned due to his pending motion for judicial determination of probable cause, seeking to dismiss his cases.