By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki
Former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director Alan Purisima is hoping that the Sandiganbayan Second Division would dismiss his perjury charges on the grounds of insufficiency of evidence.
He has been slapped with eight charges in violation of Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code due to his failure to declare the properties of his wife, Maria Ramona Lydia Purisima, in his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for the years 2006 to 2009, as well as 2011 to 2014.
On March 4, he filed a motion for leave to file demurrer to evidence and to admit attached demurrer to evidence. A demurrer to evidence is an act contesting that the prosecution’s evidence is insufficient. If the court grants it, then his case would be dismissed.
In his motion, Purisima said that his filing is not intended to delay the proceedings, but is interposed solely to question the prosecution’s testimonial and documentary evidence. He believes it failed to establish all the elements of perjury, and it will be unable to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
He specified in his demurrer that the third element of perjury – that accused him of making a willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood – is clearly lacking.
Purisima reasoned that none of the prosecution’s witnesses personally know him or his family, so they have no personal knowledge as to the preparation of his SALNs or its contents.
“None of them even testified on accused’s purported motives for allegedly committing perjury in his SALNs. Clearly, these witnesses do not know if accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood in any of his SALNs,” his demurrer read. “Such witnesses would not even know if accused’s SALNs contain any omitted or undeclared properties.”
At the same time, Purisima said that the prosecution failed to issue subpoenas to secure copies of his SALNs filed with the Office of the President. As a result, there is insufficiency in their evidence.
“By failing to send a subpoena to the Office of the President, the prosecution failed to show that such Office informed the accused that his SALNs were not properly filed,” the demurrer stated.
“Consequently, accused was never advised of any infirmity in his SALNs by the Office of the President. Due to such lack of notice, accused had the right to assume that his SALNs were correct and properly filed,” it added.
The anti-graft court has yet to issue a resolution determining if it would grant Purisima’s motion and accept his attached demurrer.