Malacanang, through Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda, denied a news item released Thursday morning which reported that Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is seeking the firing of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and suspended Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima.
In the article, Manila Standard Today‘s Christine Herrera and Macon Ramos Araneta reported about an unscheduled meeting between President Benigno Aquino III and Roxas that took place Tuesday afternoon.
According to the news item, an irate Roxas repeatedly asked Aquino to fire Ochoa and Purisima, warning that not doing so might “trigger his downfall.”
“This is the least that we can do for the families who are hurting and the start to show the government is sincere and is doing something to ensure that justice is served. We promised that justice be served,” Roxas also supposedly said.
In return, Aquino flatly rejected his proposal, saying “I will not fire them. I can’t do it and I will not do it.” Upon hearing this, Roxas walked out of the meeting and is said to have even banged the door.
In a brief statement, Lacierda said the Manila Standard Today article “is premised on something that never took place.” According to him, the scheduled meeting of Aquino with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, the one wherein Roxas allegedly made his demands, did not push through.
“During a time of mourning for our country, we call upon all sectors to practice prudence and refrain from adding to the grief of our countrymen,” he added,