Purisima’s ‘ordinary house’ made of wood, has guest rooms, gazebo, algae-ridden pool
SAN LEONARDO, Nueva Ecija – Is it really a mansion?
The “villa” of Director General Alan Purisima may be too grandiose to be “ordinary,” but at the same time too simple to be “luxurious.”
An algae-ridden swimming pool, a squeaky hardwood floor, a narrow wooden staircase in a sparsely decorated house greeted members of media Monday as relatives and lawyers of Purisima opened the doors of the National Police chief’s Nueva Ecija holiday house–the center of controversy in the plunder allegations against him.
Outside of the rest house, a gazebo with a receiving area for visitors, a four-bedroom guest house, a mini bar, a nipa hut, and a guardhouse stood inside Purisima’s 4.5-hectare property in Barangay (village) Magpapalayok in San Leonardo town.
Experts said the property, which is five kilometers from the town center, could cost up to P50 million. But Purisima said its estimated market value was only P4 million.
Purisima was not present to act as host but two of his cousins guided members of the media in touring the property.
Tito Purisima spoke for and defended his second cousin. He maintained the house is not a mansion compared to those in exclusive subdivisions in Metro Manila.
“Let’s see for ourselves if this house could be compared to those in Forbes Park, Dasmariñas Village, Urdaneta, Magallanes, Corinthian Village, Greenmeadows and Greenhills,” Tito said.
”It is for you to decide if this house is really a mansion or villa worth P30 to P50 million.”
As he toured reporters inside the house, Tito said the Purisima family rarely visits there.
Only three caretakers occupy the San Leonardo property to maintain the compound.
The 204-square-meter vacation house has five air-conditioned bedrooms that were all decorated plain, one common bathroom, kitchen with countertop burners and wall-mounted oven, a mini bar and a wine cabinet.
Purisima’s poster and a PNP logo-shaped clock from the Benguet police with his name and rank engraved on it are festooned to one side of the white-painted wall.
There is no living room at Purisima’s two-story house. Upon entering the main door, the hallway flows to a nine-seater dining set made of Apitong wood.
Along the hall is a wooden wall in which a small flat-screen television set, a MyView brand, is mounted.
Unlike the typical expensive houses, the wooden staircase was too narrow for the spacious, American-style home. Meanwhile, tubular steel railings surrounded some of the house exteriors.
The floorings are plain. Downstairs, the dining hall leads to the granite-floored kitchen. The second floor looked solid because it is made of hardwood.
Contrary to reports, the swimming pool, measuring 7.5 meters by 15 meters, is not an Olympic-size pool. Poorly maintained, clumps of algae clung to the walls of the pool that shone green in the sun.
After the short tour, lawyers and relatives of Purisima insisted that the construction materials used were simple.
“The house was just nicely done. This is not a mansion. There are other houses out there that are more beautiful than this,” lawyer Toby Purisima, the police official’s cousin, told reporters.
“Walang kaluho-luho ang bahay na ito. Talagang pinaghirapan ito,” he added.
In a separate statement sent to reporters, Purisima says: “As reporters could see, this property is no mansion by any standard. It is an ordinary house, ordinary as the other concrete houses that you would see in the neighborhood.”
Prior to the media tour, Purisima slammed some newscasters of ABS-CBN. He singled out news anchor Ted Failon for calling his property a “luxurious estate and villa with an olympic-sized pool.”
Purisima denied this and to prove that he has nothing to hide, he invited the media to come over to his holiday house. He even encourages them to take a dip in his swimming pool.
“By inviting the media, it is my hope that some questions related to my property would be put to rest,” he said.
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