Mar Roxas: Lifestyle check to include Purisima
Is it wrong for a policeman to be a millionaire?
Not really, except if his monthly pay as a law enforcer could not explain his riches, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said Wednesday as he disclosed that his department had begun finalizing a policy requiring all members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to undergo a lifestyle check.
Talk of putting law enforcers under such scrutiny has resurfaced after a spate of high profile crimes saw the PNP investigating its own members as suspects, including a Quezon City policeman tagged as the mastermind of the Sept. 1 Edsa robbery-abduction.
Senior Insp. Oliver Villanueva, who remained at large, was later revealed to have declared a net worth of P6.1 million and assets worth P8 million last year despite earning only P605,133 as policeman the year before.
Roxas said he had met with Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares to discuss the guidelines that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) would adopt in carrying out the anticorruption
“Under the law, all riches which are not commensurate to a person’s legal earnings are deemed illegally obtained,” Roxas said in a news briefing at Camp Crame. “We will come up with a protocol regarding the conduct of lifestyle check (for policemen). This will be an objective policy for all police personnel.”
Asked if he was willing to submit himself to a lifestyle check, “Of course. I will not implement that policy if I’m not willing to be part of it.”
The assets of PNP Director General Alan Purisima and other ranking officials of the 148,000-strong police force would be scrutinized, he said.
The DILG chief said he was also consulting with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, noting that the government was already implementing the policy at the Bureau of Customs and the BIR.
“If this is being done in the BIR and Customs, why can’t we have it in the PNP?” he said.
Teams composed of personnel from the PNP Internal Affairs Service and the Napolcom would be deployed to check on policemen who could have acquired ill-gotten wealth, he added.
“Initially, we are planning to conduct a lifestyle check on the senior PNP officials randomly. The lower-ranking officials would come next,” Roxas said.
The interior secretary also sought the help of the public in identifying PNP officials involved in criminal activities and who may have used their authority to enrich themselves through illegal means.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.