MANILA — Appealing for fair and objective reporting against the backdrop of a documented TV report that became the subject of a recent Senate inquiry, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima opened his “controversial private house” in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija to media members on Monday morning.
Together with the PNP Public Information Chief, Senior Supt. Wilben M. Mayor, different news media representatives from wires, print, radio and TV stations went to Barangay Magpapalayok, San Leonardo town aboard an 18-vehicle convoy at about 8:30 a.m.
Earlier, in the interest of transparency, the PNP chief invited members of the media during a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City last Thursday to personally see his property in San Leonardo.
“As reporters could see, this property is no mansion by any standard. It is an ordinary house, as ordinary as the other concrete houses that you would see in the neighborhood,” Purisima said in a statement made through his lawyers who were present in the area to answer media queries pertaining to the property.
Media representatives were allowed access to the main house, guest house, the pool and the gazebo.
“By inviting the media, it is my hope that some questions related to my property would be put to rest,” the PNP chief added.
Purisima, who was not around at the time, was quoted in earlier reports as saying that the property is around 4.5 hectares and is worth Php3.7 million. He said he acquired the land at around Php57,000 per hectare in 1998, a period when real estate prices in the province were still low.
The so-called mansion, as described in media reports, features five bedrooms — three on the ground floor and two on the second. The top portion is mostly made of wood materials.
The two-floor house measures 204 square meters in area. It was constructed sometime in 2002 and renovated in 2012.
The wall of the two-storey house is made of gypsum boards (wood).
Once a visitor enters the house, one will see an eight- person dining table, granite tiles downstairs, while the flooring upstairs is made of hardwood. The roof is made of marine plywood and the railings of the house is tubular metal material (hollow inside).
The second floor has two attics with one comfort room and the flooring is also made of wood.
Meanwhile, the roof of the Gazebo is made of “pawid” (nipa), while the posts are made of recycled wood. The flooring is clay tiles while the chairs and tables are made of “apitong” wood.
The guest room has four bedrooms, one comfort room and a mini bar.
A cousin of the PNP chief, Tito Purisima, who was present during the visit, also showed to the media the swimming pool on the property.
“If I could remember correctly, an Olympic-sized swimming pool measures 50 meters by 25 meters, but this one only measures 7.5 meters by 15 meters,” Tito said in Filipino.
He also stressed that all the materials used in the construction were ordinary and not expensive as claimed by those he described as the PNP chief’s detractors.