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MANILA, Philippines – Through hard work and his family’s savings, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima said he managed to purchase and build from the ground up a P3.7-million ($82,291*) property in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija.
The property is the basis of a plunder complaint filed against him by the Coalition of Filipino Consumers (CFC). Although the property is declared in his 2013 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), complainants claim it is actually worth much more – between P30 million ($667,277) to P50 million ($1.11 million).
Purisima told a Senate panel led by Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday, September 30, that the 4.7 hectare property was acquired in 1998 for P150,000 but was only developed in 2002. The chairperson of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs presided over a hearing on PNP reform and reorganization bills.
The police chief, who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1981, had been in the PNP for more than a decade by then.
At the time he purchased the lot, he was chief of the regional intelligence and investigation division of the National Capital Region Police Office and then the operations officer of the Quezon City Police District.
By 2002, he was head of the Luzon Task Group and Luzon Area Office of the PNP, and then chief of the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response.
Almost a decade after he bouth the property, Purisima was assigned police director of Central Luzon (Region 3, which includes the province of Nueva Ecija).
As PNP chief, Purisima earns around P107,000 ($2,380) monthly, he said.
Purisima told Poe that the construction of the house and development of the property was done over several years. “Paunti-unti ang pagco-construct niyan at may mga savings din po kami (Construction was done in phases and we also had savings),” he said.
The police chief earlier hit his detractors, whom he claimed only filed cases against him because of ulterior motives. (READ: PNP chief not resigning: Corrupt won’t win)
“Pati nga po yung negosyong manukan na aming itinatag na korporasyon at bahay na naipundar ko sa marangal na paraan, pinupuntirya ng mga kalaban ko para lang maisulong ang kanilang kagustuhan,” he said. (READ: Politician behind campaign against Purisima?)
(My detractors are attacking our poultry business that we turned into a corporation and the home that we built through honest means just so they can move pursue their objectives.)
The admission comes after a series of television news reports that exposed Purisima’s alleged undervalued property. Purisima had earlier denied that he was constructing a house in Nueva Ecija.
During the hearing, the PNP chief clarified that during that time, the house was already built, so there was no reason to say he was having one constructed.
Poe later criticized Purisima’s response in an interview with reporters. “Namimilosopo pa (He has the gall to be sarcastic)”
‘Go on leave’
Despite his lengthy explanation refuting allegations of corruption at the September 30 hearing, Poe reiterated her call for the PNP chief to go on leave, pending his investigation for plunder and graft raps.
The senator had earlier called on Purisima to take a leave of absence amid allegations of corruption and ineptitude. Poe repeated her call at the end of the hearing on Thursday, and said it wasn’t only because of the graft and plunder cases against Purisima.
“Bilang namumuno ng PNP, dapat pinaglalaban mo ‘yung mga pangangailangan ng iyong mga nasasakupan…pero ‘yung mga importanteng hearing, katulad ng budget ay hindi mo sinisipot, hindi ka lumalabas. Hindi ka nararamdaman ng iyong liderato, kaya ko nasabing coupled with the cases filed against him, not just because of the cases filed against him, perhaps he should take leave,” Poe said.
(As the leader of the PNP, you should defend the institution’s needs. But you skipped the important hearings, even the budget hearing. Your subordinates don’t feel your leadership. That’s why I’m saying, coupled with the cases filed against him,’ not just because of the cases filed against him, perhaps he should take leave.)
Purisima’s other sources of income include two companies – Aliakbar Hauling Trucking and Services and Ealraj Corporation, which was incorporated by Purisima, his wife, and their 4 sons. The police chief told the Senate he was not privy to how much Aliakbar earns yearly since he is not involved in the company’s daily operations.
At least 3 graft and plunder cases have been filed against Purisima over the Nueva Ecija property, an alleged anomalous deal in the PNP, and the construction of the PNP chief’s official residence inside Camp Crame, called the “White House.”
A good friend of President Benigno Aquino III, Purisima said he would not step down ahead of his scheduled retirement in November 2015. Aquino, meanwhile, has consistently defended Purisima and said it was not in the police chief’s character to be “greedy or luxurious.” – Rappler.com
*$1 = P44.8