Despite Law Banning Gifts, Palace Defends Purisima

MANILA, Philippines – For Malacañang, PNP (Philippine National Police) Chief Director General Alan Purisima responded “truthfully” during the Senate hearing but two senators did not really believe Purisima’s statements.

On 1 October 2014, after the Senate conducted the hearing regarding Purisma’s alleged incompetence and corruption. But once again, Malacanang defended the PNP Chief Director and stated to the public “people should hand it for answering all those questions truthfully.”

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda stated, “In our view, he answered all these questions. Whether one gives credence to those kinds of responses, it will really depend on the observer.”

But, Lacierda’s statement is different from what Senator Grace Poe believes Poe, who lead the said hearing shared that she felt Purisma only told half of the real truth. Also, Lacierda is was silent on the admission of Purisima regarding the White House located in Camp Crame, which is his current residence and was built by contractors for free.

However, Purisima stated that the contractors do not have any connection with the  PNP. He also shared to the public that he got  two of his most luxurious vehicles from a dealer in Pampanga who offered him huge discounts.

When asked about the discount and the donation he received, he stated that he does not have enough ideas on the policies for the appointees of the president and receiving gifts. He added, “I am still new in the government”

As stated on Republic Act of 6713 Section 7, an act regulating a code for conduct of the public officials, on the acceptance or solicitation of gifts “directly or indirectly…in the course of their official duties” is prohibited and “declared to be unlawful.” The meaning of the gifts includes “anything of monetary value from any person.”

Senator Poe admitted that there isnothing wrong in accepting donations but the right procedure was not followed by Purisima. The senator also thinks that the Chief Director should consider taking a leave of absence while the investigation for his case is ongoing.

On the other hand, Senator Serge Osmeña directly stated, “I don’t believe you” to Purisima.

The Side of Malacañang

Lacierda stated that he totally believes Purisima answered right and truthfully based on his SALN or Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. He stated, “Are there properties not in the SALN? General Purisima explained the contents of his SALN…it’s all in the SALN. All his SALNs are based on documents you can verify.”

Lacierda also thinks that the chief director has enough moral ascendancy in order to continue with his current work despite the allegations that he is currently facing. He said that Purisima was able to reform the current force of the police. He also argued that the controversy had not affected the credibility of the PNP even if Purisma is their current leader.

He stated, “The performance of the police force is not measured [by Purisima]. It is unfair to judge the PNP based on Purisima.” In the end, he insisted that Purisima is innocent until proven to be guilty and encouraged public to delay judgment.

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