PNP chief quizzed on P25M 'White House' renovation

By Non Alquitran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 19 2014 04:15 AM | Updated as of Jun 19 2014 12:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima evaded questions last Tuesday on the alleged P25-million renovation of the White House, the official residence of the PNP chief at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Purisima admitted that the White House was renovated but claimed he was unaware of the project cost.

“We built a new White House. I don’t know how much (it cost). I will still ask the comptroller,” he said.

The building is painted white, hence its name.

Purisima was the guest last Tuesday on “Bandila,” the late night news program of ABS-CBN, and was asked about the renovation of the White House that allegedly cost P25 million.

A source told The STAR that the actual cost of the renovation was P20 million and the reason given was the damage caused by Typhoon Ondoy.

Although Ondoy struck in 2009, the renovation was undertaken only recently as Purisima’s predecessors did not stay at the White House.

In the same television interview, Purisima said he was also not aware that the meal allowances of non-uniformed personnel of the PNP had been cancelled.

Purisima said he has no plans of resigning despite recent intrigues and controversies that hounded the police service.

He said he would wait for his retirement in November 2015 when he reaches the age of 56.

The PNP has been under fire for a number of high profile killings and incidents that placed the PNP chief’s leadership in question.

Among the intrigues and controversies were the massacre in Atimonan, Quezon; his order to stop support to the Officers’ Ladies Club; the plunder charges filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged anomalous deal the PNP entered into with a courier service; disappointment among legitimate firearms holders over the stricter issuance of permit to carry firearms outside residence and license to own and possess firearms; the transfer of assignment of Task Force Tugis chief Senior Superintendent Conrado Capa after the arrest of Globe Asiatique president Delfin Lee; and the spate of killings nationwide.

Purisima was appointed PNP chief in December 2012.

President Aquino had expressed concern over the recent spate of killings and the worsening crime situation in the country.

This prompted Purisima to call for a command conference last Monday to make the necessary adjustments in their security measures.

Purisima also brushed aside rumors that Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II has not been talking to him. He said he and Roxas have been in constant communication.