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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Syndicates Lurk in PNP

 Director General Alan Purisima, the embattled Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, yesterday told the Senate, which is holding a hearing on the rising criminality in the country, that syndicates affected by his reform programs are behind the corruption charges against him. Purisima told the joint Senate Committees on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, Local Government and Finance hearing that those hurling allegations against him are those unhappy with the way he is clamping down on syndicates within the institution.
“Nakalulungkot isipin na kung kailan natin winawakasan ang katiwalian at korupsiyon sa pambansang pulisya, saka pa tayo binabato ng pagdududa (It’s sad to think that at a time when we are trying to put a stop to corruption and graft in the national police, we are being doubted),” Purisima said in his opening statement as he rejected calls for him to resign.
But Purisima, who admitted owning the 4.7-hectare property in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, stopped short of saying what he did to get rid of the syndicates in the PNP.
Refusing to take Purisima’s claim hook, line, and sinker, Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares challenged the PNP chief to show proof the alleged syndicates in the institution really exist.
“I think, instead of making allegations, if you don’t want to mention in this hearing those you suspect are against, you can inform us about it or maybe through the Napolcom (National Police Commission),” Poe told Purisima.
“You should have a report about it. You can’t just claim you’re being harassed by these groups without any proof,” he said.

Purisima, who is facing plunder, graft, and indirect bribery charges before the Ombudsman, rated his performance as nine out of 10, with 10 as the highest, when asked to do so during the hearing.
But a dismayed Sen. Poe gave him a rating of four out of 10, saying she finds too many inconsistencies in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).
“I’m not convinced he’s telling the truth entirely. Or maybe there’s some truth to it but perhaps not the entire truth,” Poe told reporters after the committee’s hearing into the PNP modernization bill.
Poe also admonished Purisima for accepting a “questionable” donation – the so-called “White House.”
She confronted Purisima over the inconsistencies connected with the construction of his P11-milion residence in Camp Crame.
“Did it cross your mind to execute the deed of donation first, which is normally the process?” Poe asked.
“We did not think of it, your honor. We’re sorry,” the Purisima answered sheepishly.
It was reported last week that the deed of donation on the police executive residence was signed by its three donors only last September 3. Purisima declined to name the donors. But last week, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas named the donors as Carlos Gonzales of ULTICON Builders, Alexander Lopez of Pacific Concrete Corporation, and Christopher Pastrana of CAPP Industries. Purisima was listed as the donee or receiver.
The PNP chief also clarified that the “White House” is a whole new building and not just a renovation of the old executive residence, which he claimed was “susceptible to floods.” Purisima said the “White House” was erected under a “design and build” scheme. 

With the controversy over the “White House,” Poe then brought up the sorry state of the Kiangan Hall,  the quarters of rank-and-file police officers in Camp Crame.
“They said over the radio that the pillow cases there don’t even suffice. That’s why the deed of donation is important whenever you have donors… the PNP lacks a lot of items,” she said.
Poe also scored the PNP chief for snubbing the Senate when it deliberated on the budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and left the task of defending the PNP’s proposed P70-billion budget for 2015 to Roxas.
Purisima had earlier apologized for his absence in the budget hearings and previous hearings conducted by Poe’s committee.
He explained the necessity of attending the leadership conference on anti-kidnapping and extortion in Bogota, Colombia, to improve efforts of the PNP to address kidnapping incidents.
But Poe said she finds it more necessary for the PNP chief himself to personally defend their budget before Congress. 

Administration Sen. Sergio Osmeña III also questioned Purisima why he did not prioritize improvements in the PNP General Hospital over the construction of the “White House.”
But Purisima said it was the private individuals behind the “White House” construction who prioritized it, a response which did not sit well with Osmeña.
Osmeña also said he doesn’t believe that Purisima was unaware of the design of the “White House” when the donors approached him for its construction.
“Don’t they normally show the design first?,” Osmeña asked.
“Siguro rough sketch lang (Maybe just a rough sketch),” answered Purisima, to which the senator interjected, “I don’t believe you.”
Senators also took note of an Alphard valued at P3.2 million, the Toyota Land Cruiser valued at P1.5 million, which he bought in 2013. Purisima said the SUV was heavily discounted.
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