DAVAO CITY — Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said only Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima can answer for the allegations against saying “no one is above the law.”

Purisima, who showed up at the Senate today after snubbing the hearings twice, admitted that he owns a mansion, sports utility vehicles, several businesses and other assets which he did not declare in his statement of assets and liabilities (SALN).

The Senate Committee on Public Order and Safety is currently tackling the PNP modernization program but they also wanted to hear the PNP Chief’s explanation on the increasing crime rate in Metro Manila involving police officers.

After Purisima “snubbed” the committee’s invitations, Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the committee warned that they will not approve the PNP modernization proposal.

For Roxas, “we need to go ahead with the process so that we can avoid this being personal,” when asked by a journalist if he will recommend for Purisima’s removal.

Meanwhile, Roxas highlighted his accomplishments in a speech at the Ateneo de Davao University Tuesday, citing  the recruitment of more police officers using more “objective” measures, and the conduct of lifestyle check for police personnel, members of the National Police Commission, the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Ombudsman.

However, Roxas was quick to admit that “nothing is perfect” because of notable “high-profile” crimes involved police officers themselves.

One of such case is the killing of Cebu hotel businessman Richard King in Davao City which involved Police Senior Superintendent Leonardo Felonia, Chief of the Regional Intelligence Unit XI.

Roxas also mentioned the killing of race car driver Enzo Pastor, whose alleged hitman was a police officer, and the involvement of decorated police officers in a “Hulidap (fake arrest and kidnapping)” in Edsa Street in Metro Manila which became viral after a photo of the incident circulated in Facebook.

Roxas said that because of the reforms the crime rate this year is “slightly better than last year.”

But according to reports, Purisima himself in a press briefing last June 27, revealed that the crime volume has nearly doubled since 2010.

For Karapatan, a human rights alliance, the PNP modernization program along with the more than P200 billion Oplan Bayanihan Proposed Fund Allocaion for 2015 is actually a “budget to kill” spread across different agencies.

Karapatan said that 204 cases of extrajudicial killings have occurred under the administration of President Benigno Aquino Jr., III. (davaotoday.com)

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