Ombudsman indicts Purisima for perjury, wants assets seized
Graft investigators will file a forfeiture case with the antigraft court, Sandiganbayan, against Alan Purisima and his family to seize in favor of the government nearly P30 million in wealth allegedly ill-gotten by the controversial former Philippine National Police chief.
The forfeiture case will cover Purisima, his wife Ma. Ramona Lydia and sons Rainer Van Albert, Eumir Von Andrei, Alan Jr. and Jason Avri. Mrs. Purisima is an employee of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Mutual Benefits Association.
In a 51-page resolution dated July 4, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales also ordered Purisima indicted for nine counts of perjury for allegedly failing to declare all his wealth in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) from 2006 to 2009.
The Ombudsman also found Purisima liable for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and acquiring ill-gotten wealth, which carried a penalty of dismissal from office.
But since Purisima, who had been dismissed twice in the past, is no longer in public office, the penalty of dismissal is likely to be converted into a fine equivalent to a year’s salary.
Purisima was a close friend of former President Benigno Aquino III.
Symbol of Aquino wrongs
The Ombudsman’s resolution, according to an anticrime watchdog group, was a “triumph for justice.”
“We have to bear in mind that Mr. Purisima is a symbol of what was essentially wrong in the previous administration—preferential treatment for friends of the powers that be,” said Arsenio Evangelista, spokesperson of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), in a text message.
According to the Ombudsman, the Purisima family “accumulated wealth manifestly out of proportion to their salaries and other lawful income.”
Purisima’s declared gross income from 2000 to 2014 totaled only P9.5 million, his wife’s amounted to P6.4 million and their loans totaled P14.8 million.
This meant that the Purisimas, during those years, had disposable funds of up to P31 million.
But the Purisimas’ real estate and vehicle purchases and other expenses reached P54 million in those years.
These included house and lots, cash, pieces of jewelry, investments, vehicles and construction equipment totaling nearly P32 million.
They were also able to spend P12.6 million to pay loans, P2.5 million on household expenses and P7 million on tax payments.
The Ombudsman found that the family spent at least P23 million more than what they officially earned.
Another P6.4 million in real estate, vehicles and investments were undeclared.
Assets that Purisima allegedly failed to disclose included three parcels of land in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija; 11 parcels of land in Talisay, Batangas; a lot in Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija and a piece of land in San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur.
Although Purisima declared having business interests, he never disclosed income from these, which would have explained his wealth, according to the Ombudsman.
The Purisima spouses also reported only compensation income in their income tax returns (ITR) from 2003 to 2013 which the Ombudsman said were “completely bereft of information.”
Purisima later detailed his other income sources only after the Bureau of Internal Revenue, on Oct. 28, 2014, complied with a subpoena issued by Ombudsman investigators.
Purisima submitted amended ITRs which the Ombudsman said were also “replete with badges of falsity and misdeclaration.”
This led the Ombudsman to conclude that the amended ITRs were “a mere afterthought.”
Morales also rejected Purisima’s defense that some of the assets were under the names of his sons but the Ombudsman said there was insufficient proof that his children were financially capable of acquiring the assets.
The resolution addressed criminal complaints filed by VACC, Coalition of Filipino Consumers, lawyer Jose Teddie Rosario and the Fact-Finding Investigation Bureau of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices, a unit of the Office of the Ombudsman.
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