By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has denied the bid of former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Alan Madrid Purisima to challenge the prosecution’s evidence in his graft case involving the anomalous courier deal between the PNP and Werfast Documentation Agency Inc. in 2011.
He was charged with graft for entering into a memorandum of agreement with Werfast for the latter to provide courier services for all firearms license applications with the PNP. Werfast was selected despite the absence of public bidding and its failure to comply with government regulations on courier services.
Upon review of the prosecution’s evidence, Purisima said that it is evident that not all elements of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were established.
He argued that there was no showing how he acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence in the selection of Werfast. In fact, he wanted to highlight the fact that the document bearing his signature is not an accreditation of Werfast, but rather the mandatory delivery of the firearms licenses.
However, the anti-graft court ruled in favor of the prosecution. “After carefully reviewing the accused’s respective motions and the prosecution’s evidence, this Court resolves to deny the respective motions of the accused,” the Court said.
Purisima is still free to file his demurrer to evidence. But should he choose to do so, he would be waiving his right to present defense evidence.
Aside from this graft charge, Purisima also has a pending graft and usurpation charge before the Fourth Division in connection with the botched police operation in Mamasapano in 2016 which resulted in the deaths of 44 Special Action Force troopers.
He also has eight perjury charges before the Second Division 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.