Sen. Poe urges PNP chief to go on leave

MANILA, Philippines (ENS) —  Philippine National Police Chief Allan Purisima should be asked to go on administrative leave while investigations against him are ongoing, Senator Grace Poe said Wednesday, Sept. 24.

Poe appealed to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to strongly recommend this to President Aquino.

“I share your frustration Sir, but on the other hand, I know that you also have to make the appropriate recommendation to the President,” Senator Poe told Interior Secretary Roxas during the senate hearing.

“And I think that I know you feel accountable to the President and to the people, which I feel that in the case of the chief PNP, with all of the controversy, totoo man o hindi ay kinakaladkad niya ang pangalan ng institusyon sa baba kasama niya. I have no authority to do this but kayo po bilang DILG (chief), nandiyan na.  May kaso na siya sa ombudsman. (He already has a case before the Ombudsman.)” Poe explained.

Poe also said that the controversy hounding Purisma has also affected the morale of the PNP.

But Roxas said it was important to hear out Purisima first before judging him.

“Pakikinggan natin, sisiyasatin natin.  Dapat fair tayo, evidence-based.  Hanggang mapaliwanag nya ito, nananatili ang ating trust.  Mahalaga na maipaliwanag niya ito. (Let’s hear him first.  Let’s analyze the facts.  We should be fair, [and decide) based on evidence.  Until he [Purisima] explains this, our trust is with him.  It is important that he should first explain this),” Roxas said.

While in New York, President Aquino defended Purisima who is facing graft and plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.

The President told reporters who interviewed him in New York that Purisima was not known to be greedy nor luxurious.

Hindi po natin kilala ang taong ito bilang maluho o matakaw (We do not know this person to be luxurious or greedy),” he said on Tuesday in New York (Wednesday in Manila).

But Malacanang said that President Aquino might not have been informed yet of the full details regarding the new accusations Purisima is facing.

“Let’s just wait until President Aquino returns because his focus is on his engagements abroad. I’m not sure if he is fully aware of all the details,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters Wednesday.

Aquino had known Purisima since 1987.  He served as aide of Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.  Being a member of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) then, he was assigned to the young Noynoy Aquino.

Purisima is facing complaints of graft, plunder and indirect bribery for allegedly not declaring the true worth of his property in Nueva Ecija, and for the multi-million peso renovation of his official residence, called the “White House”  inside Camp Crame.

The complaints were filed by a consumer group, “The Coalition of Filipino Consumers” on September 22.

Purisima’s property in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija was declared to be worth only P3.75 million (about $70,000).  The consumer group claimed that this was worth P30 million to P50 million based on present values.  The group also questioned the renovation worth P12 million on Purisima’s “White House” residence in Camp Crame, which the PNP said was funded by donations. (Eagle News Service)