Who is to Blame for the Woes of Chief PNP Gen. Purisima?
Yesterday in his opening statement before the Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs, The Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Gen. Alan Purisima, who is under investigation on charges of corruption and ill-gotten wealth, said that the charges against him are a "demolition job" or slander and character assassination (Trans: paninira) by disgruntled firearms fixers, syndicates, and dealers who would want the firearms licensing system to go back to "business as usual." Gen. Purisima also stated that the present system of stricter gun control rules, is to weed out corruption within the ranks of his own PNP personnel, who he claims have long been selling gun licenses to unqualified individuals based on fraudulent records, and record keeping.
However, in the same Senate hearing, Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Serge Osmena also discussed and questioned Gen. Purisima on allegations of his ill gotten wealth, such as his 4 hectare 3.5 million mansion and ranch in Nueva Ecjia, his multi-million poultry farm, P3.9 million Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, and his P3.2 million Toyota Alphard luxury van, plus the P11.2 "donation" made to him via private contractors to renovate his living quarters termed as PNP White House.
Who is to blame for the Gen. Purisima's woes? Himself.
An institution such as the PNP is only as good as its leadership. The position of the Chief PNP is one that is held only with the highest trust and confidence. It is not only the confidence of the appointing power, the President, which matters. Rather it is the trust and confidence of the public, or the people whom the police are sworn to serve and protect. Perceptions are critical because if the Head is perceived as being suspected of corruption or of questionable character, the same attitude will permeate down the ranks and the lower echelon will likewise be tempted to follow the bad example. Thus, we have been seeing strings of high profile crimes, robberies, murder for hire, kidnappings, all involving policemen with the apparent conpiracy of their officers..
The NGOs and anti-crime civilian volunteers who have exposed such anomalies and have filed charges against Gen. Purisima are institutional citizens organizations which have been in existence for the past 20 or so years; their motives for exposing the Chief PNP do not appear to be questionable. Insofar as the statement of gen. Purisima that these charges of ill-gotten wealth stem from the firearms issue, such is the product of fantasy and delusion. The firearms owners and NGOs such as Progun do not possess any money, influence, or motives to run such an elaborate smear campaign, if such is indeed the case. As stated by anti-crime watchdog Ms. Teresita Ang-See at the same Senate hearing, "all we have is public opinion on our side." Fair enough, right makes right, and good always triumphs over evil.
If the Chief PNP would want to clean up the system of corruption, it is suggested that he better look into the mirror and examine himself. The latest string of ill-gotten wealth charges are serious enough for the public to demand a truthful explanation, not a pack of lies and cover-ups. The Filipino people are politically mature weary of corruption enough to see through a whitewash, enough to hunger for true justice and accountability. As citizens we deserve no less than the truth. "Delicadeza" is no longer an issue, rather what is involved is already direct evidence of corruption, and the loss of trust and confidence of the public in the office of the Chief PNP. Consqeuently, Gen. Purisima should resign. Not tomorrow, but now.