Bulletproof SUV? Lent by friends, says PNP chief

Bea Cupin

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Bulletproof SUV? Lent by friends, says PNP chief
PNP chief Alan Purisima seems to have generous friends. So far they have donated money to build his official residence at Camp Crame and lent him a bulletproof SUV.

MANILA, Philippines – His new official residence at Camp Crame was donated by contractors. His house in Nueva Ecija was built through years of hard work. The Land Cruiser he owns was bought at a huge discount from generous traders.

And the bulletproof SUV (also a Land Cruiser) he’s using? It was only lent to him by friends.

Responding to the latest controversy on him, Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima on Thursday, October 2, denied owning a high-end, bulletproof SUV.

Yung bulletproof… pinapagamit lang sa akin dahil hindi ko po kayang bumili ng ganoong klaseng ng sasakyan,” Purisima told reporters in a press conference.

Purisima was seen inside the V8 Land Cruiser GXR on his way out of the Senate after a September 30 hearing on the PNP’s proposed modernization.

He did not reveal the identity of his friends who lent him the vehicle, estimated to cost around P4 million. According to media reports, the vehicle was registered under “Jeverps Trading” but was later sold through an agent.

The high-end SUV is only the latest in a string of controversies hounding the PNP chief. (IN PHOTOS: PNP chief’s Nueva Ecija ‘home’)

Purisima is accused of corruption and faces 3 plunder complaints filed before the Ombudsman. The first complaint was over an allegedly anomalous deal in the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO); the second was over an allegedly under-declared property in Nueva Ecija and the construction of the PNP chief’s official residence in Camp Crame; and the third deals with the alleged mismatch of Purisima’s income and his properties.

The PNP chief dismissed the allegations against him, saying people who are against PNP reforms are behind the controversies as a form of revenge.

Kailangan po natin para sa ating seguridad. Napakarami nating mga kaaway, baka mamaya habang nakasakay tayo ay ma-ambush nalang tayo. So, yan ay nakita ng ating mga kaibigan na kailangan natin ng seguridad,” said Purisima.

(I need the vehicle for my security. I have a lot of enemies. For all I know, they’ll attempt to ambush me while I’m on board the car. My friends realized that, they know I need the added security.)

Purisima and his wife, Ma. Ramona Lydia Purisima, have 4 vehicles to their name as declared in the former’s latest Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth. The four are: a P1.4-million Toyota Hilux, a P1.3-million Hyundai Starex, a P1.5-million Toyota Land Cruiser, a P900,000 Toyota Innova, and an “Alp hard” or a Toyola Alphard, which costs P3.2 million

Purisima’s friends

The PNP chief’s friends have proven to be very generous.

His contractor friends, the PNP chief said, funded the construction of the new P12 million “White House” inside Camp Crame. Purisima said during the hearing that none of the contractors who funded the White House had any deals with the PNP.

The “White House” is the official residence of the PNP chief inside the PNP headquarters.

PNP officials earlier explained the creation of a new house was necessary because the older one was damaged in 2009 during Typhoon Ondoy. The “White House” was first reported mid-year, but it took the plunder complaints against Purisima for the PNP to finally identifty its “donors.”

Purisima has been PNP chief since December 2012.

Despite the allegations against him and calls for him to quit or take a leave, President Benigno Aquino III says he continues to trust the PNP chief, a friend of his since 1987. (READ: Aquino, Purisima and the past that binds– Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.