MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday ordered the dismissal of former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and 10 other PNP officials for entering into an anomalous courier service contract with Werfast Documentary Agency in 2011.
In a 50-page consolidated decision, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found substantial evidence to hold Purisima and former officials of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) liable for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and grave abuse of authority.
Aside from dismissal, the Ombudsman also imposed the accessory penalties of forfeiture of retirement benefits, cancellation of eligibility, bar from taking civil service examinations and perpetual disqualification from re-employment in government service.
One of those dismissed is Police Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta who has been rumored to be the top pick to become the next PNP chief after Purisima's resignation.
Petrasanta, acting as technical working group chairman, recommended that the courier service be the sole responsibility of Werfast on June 2011.
Purisima has already resigned as PNP chief but remains on floating status while waiting for retirement.
The other officials ordered dismissed by the Ombudsman are:
Chief Superintendent Napoleon Estilles
Senior Superintendent Allan Parreno
Senior Superintendent Eduardo Acierto
Senior Superintendent Melchor Reyes
Superintendent Lenbell Fabia
Chief Inspector Sonia Calixto
Chief Inspector Nelson Bautista
Chief Inspector Ricardo Zapata Jr.
Senior Inspector Ford Tuazon
The case stemmed from two separate complaints filed in 2014 by private citizen Glenn Gerard Ricafranca and the fact-finding investigation bureau of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (FFIB-MOLEO) regarding the engagement and accreditation of Werfast as the provider of courier services for renewed firearms licenses.
Purisima earlier ordered the closure of satellite offices of the Civil Security Group (CSG) tasked to process the licensing of firearms across the country.
Gun owners were then required to troop to the PNP's headquarters in Camp Crame for license renewal and other processes, while their license cards will be delivered by Werfast to their respective homes.
The consolidated decision noted that Werfast was not a registered corporation on May 2011 at the time of the signing of a memorandum of agreement for an an online computerized renewal system and courier delivery service for the renewal of firearms licenses to the PNP.
"It was incorporated only in August 2011 with a measly capitalization of only P65,000," it said.
It said Estilles entered into a memorandum of agreement with Werfast "even without any procurement, accreditation and qualification process."
It also noted that the FEO Courier Services Accreditation Board composed of Petrasanta, Parreno, Acierto, Reyes, Fabia, Calixto, Bautista, Tuazon and Zapata disregarded the accredited criteria and accredited Werfast despite its non-submission of clearance from the PNP Directorate for Intelligence, lack of authority to operate a delivery service and lack of accreditation by the Department of Science and Technology.
It noted that Werfast was not even qualified for failing to meet the required capitalization of P500,000 to operate in two or more regions in the country.
It also noted that Werfast had no track record in the courier service business or any other business and is not even listed as a subsidiary or local partner of Philippine Remittance Service, Ltd.
The Ombudsman also noted that Werfast used LBC to fulfill its obligations, paid no income taxes and withheld none from any employees; had no machinery, manpower and logistic capacity.