Big car discount a stronger case vs Purisima—Escudero | Inquirer News

Big car discount a stronger case vs Purisima—Escudero

/ 08:18 PM October 01, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—There may be more reason to hold Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima accountable for the big discount he got for the purchase of a sport utility vehicle in 2013 than for the donation from his friends for the construction of his official residence, according to Sen. Francis Escudero.

Escudero said Purisima has so far not explained the discount he enjoyed for his Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which he bought from a San Fernando, Pampanga car dealer for P1.5 million.


The Toyota Philippines website put the price range of different Prado models from P2.97 million to P3.85 million each.

In the case of the P11-million donation for the PNP chief’s official residence dubbed the “White House,” this passed through the Commission on Audit (COA) and would officially belong to the PNP, Escudero noted.


“If ever, that (Toyota Prado discount) is more likely to fall under graft instead of the donation. The donation passed through the COA and the government received it. It was for the government, and the only angle being looked at is if there would be a favor in exchange for this,” Escudero told reporters.

Sen. Francis Escudero  INQUIRER file photo

Sen. Francis Escudero. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

“But in the car issue, the angle there is why was he given a discount? Why was the discount that big and what was the reason it was given to him if it was not given to everybody who buys a car?” he added.

Sen. Grace Poe noted at the hearing of the Senate committee on public order on Tuesday that a Land Cruiser Prado would have cost about P4 million, and said Purisima should have wondered why he was getting a discount.

“I’m not saying it’s your fault that you were able to get it at a discounted price. But you should have taken a second look at that big a discount…. Ask yourself, why is this being given to me at a cheaper price?” Poe said Tuesday, and asked whether the dealer had a contract with the PNP.

Purisima said the dealer had no contract with the national police organization.

Anti-crime groups have filed plunder and indirect bribery complaints against Purisima in the Office of the Ombudsman over the renovation of his official residence and his Nueva Ecija property.

Even before Purisima appeared at the Senate for the hearing on PNP modernization and brazen criminality, there have been calls from various parties for him to take a leave of absence or to resign if he could not explain the allegations against him.


But Escudero said resignation, early retirement or a leave of absence were all voluntary actions, and Purisima could not be forced to do them. Unless the President decides to replace Purisima, he cannot be forced to leave, according to Escudero.

He also said the complaints against Purisima should just continue to go through the process.

Escudero also said it would be up to Purisima and to President Aquino to decide if Purisima’s continued stay at the top PNP post was detrimental to the organization.

The PNP chief has attributed the allegations against him to syndicates affected by his efforts to clean up the corruption in the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Division, and to put order to the system for the issuance of gun licenses.

Purisima also said he would not leave his post and would continue doing his duty.

But senators are dissatisfied with Purisima’s explanations about the process he followed for receiving the P11-million donation for the construction of his official residence.

Poe noted at the hearing that the deed of donation was signed only on Sept. 3, 2014, when the construction of the house was completed last year.

Purisima also said his friends had thought of donating the house because the PNP chief’s official residence was prone to being submerged in floods.

The donors have no contracts with the PNP, according to Purisima. He said he was just the incidental beneficiary of the donation and would be leaving the house to his successor.

Like Poe, Sen. Sergio Osmeña III was not convinced by Purisima’s explanations. Osmeña said the donors knew that as long as Purisima was in office, they could get something in return.

The senator also said Purisima should have asked donors to take care of the PNP hospital first.

Osmeña noted that the PNP chief’s explanations lacked credibility.

He did not disbelieve Purisima’s statement that he did not see the design for the house before it was constructed.

Poe also questioned the valuation of Purisima’s 4.7-hectare property in Nueva Ecija, which had a fair market value of P3.7 million. Poe said Purisima should have the property reassessed. Several houses also stand on the land.


Palace stands by Purisima, says response to wealth issue truthful 

Purisima admits ‘ashamedly’ to corruption in PNP

PNP chief Purisima faces Senate

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TAGS: bribe, discount, Francis Escudero, News, Policemen, Senate, wealth
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