White picket fence surrounds the house. Photo by Jonathan Cellona
MANILA - A convoy of about 14 vehicles composed of the media and the Philippine National Police traveled to Barangay Magpapalayok in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija to get a glimpse of the allegedly undervalued house of Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima.
At certain points along the way, the convoy would stop and meet up with mobile patrol units who would then join the convoy. Police were also positioned in various corners and roads.
Upon entering Barangay Magpapalayok, officials of the barangay were also standing guard on the road.
Before letting the media in, representatives of the PNP chief reminded the group that live coverage inside the compound was not allowed. They also asked the media to take note of how cheap or inexpensive the materials used to build the compound was.
Cousins of the PNP chief insist that the house is "ordinary," and "not a mansion."
They said the house is modest when compared to the houses in affluent neighborhoods like Forbes Park.
The main house is 204sqm, has granite posts, with driftwood chairs and tables on the white porch.
The exterior of the house is made of gypsum, a cheaper alternative to wood. A hardwood table for 10 is at the center of the house.
There is a hybrid refrigerator and an Italian-made stove in the kitchen.
A large but empty aquarium also serves as the divider between the kitchen and the main house.
There are 3 rooms on the ground floor, and 3 more rooms in the attic.
The 2-storey guest house, with a floor area of 90sqm, has more rooms, a bar, a patio, kiddie pool, and pond with koi.
Both houses have solar panels. The lamp posts on the path from the outer fence to the inner fence are solar powered as well.
In front of the 2 houses is the 7.5 x 15m swimming pool, with water already green from lack of maintenance.
Inside the main compound is the gazebo with anahaw roofing, driftwood posts, and what looks like tisa tiles on the floor.
Beside it is a smaller, elevated hut. Behind the gazebo is a bridge standing on top of a pond. scattered throughout the grounds are chairs and tables underneath mango trees.
By the standards of the average Filipino, this is not an ordinary house.
Purisima's spokespersons denied knowledge about the actual cost of construction, or the house's actual worth.