Despite what many people are saying about Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima, an outspoken critic of the police force said that he is not corrupt.
Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said that Purisima stopped “jueteng,” an illegal numbers game, and solved high-profile crimes when he was Pangasinan provincial police chief.
Cruz is a vociferous critic of the PNP when it comes to jueteng.
“His record as provincial director of Pangasinan, I seem to recall, was quite excellent,” Cruz said.
He added that Purisima was assigned to Pangasinan from June 2005 to February 2007.
The PNP chief was called to the Senate on Tuesday to answer charges of plunder, corruption, bribery and unexplained wealth.
Cruz was one of those who asked that Purisima be retained as Pangasinan police director in 2007 for his “integrity and capacity in attending to his difficult police task.”
At that time, Purisima was awaiting reassignment in line with the PNP’s practice of transferring a police official after two years of holding an assigned post.
Give Purisima the benefit of the doubt, Cruz said.
Another defender of the PNP chief is a party-list congressman, Rosendo So, who said that Purisima has “helped so many kidnap victims, including my family.”
Purisima was chief of the defunct Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (Pacer) from 2002 to 2003.
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If Purisima didn’t receive money from jueteng, the No. 1 source of corruption among high-ranking police officials (as per Archbishop Cruz), how did he become very rich?
I’m not privy to the PNP chief’s life but I think I can guess the source of his wealth: From moneyed Chinese-Filipino families who were grateful to him for rescuing their kidnapped scions when he was Pacer chief.
I am told that when he was Pacer chief, he rescued scores of Chinese-Filipino kidnap victims.
The money used in building a mansion on a 4.7-hectare property in Nueva Ecija and other pieces of property that Purisima has acquired probably came from those thankful Tsinoys.
I know a former PNP chief who never accepted money from jueteng lords but who became very rich out of the generosity of wealthy Tsinoys whose families were once victims of kidnap-for-ransom gangs.
One can’t accuse the ex-police official of accepting bribes since the money was given long after the rescue was made, not before.
When he was still a lieutenant in the defunct Philippine Constabulary, the former PNP chief was given a business concession by a tycoon whose daughter was rescued by him and his men from kidnappers.
Now, can you consider money that was given out freely on account of gratitude a bribe?
I think gratitude money from the families of erstwhile kidnap victims, and not theft of government funds or extortion, enriched Purisima.
He probably didn’t want to identify his benefactors at the Senate hearing.
Whether it was wrong for him to accept that money is debatable.
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