BESIDES the possibility of being booted out as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Director General Alan Purisima may also be expelled as the Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines if the allegations against him are proven true.
A senior member of the Freemasons who asked that he be not identified told The Manila Times that although Purisima holds the highest post in the fraternity, there are ways that he can be expelled in case he is found guilty of committing wrongdoing.
“Actually, there has been no incident wherein a Grand Master was unceremoniously removed from his position, but it can be done in order to spare the good image of the organization,” the source said.
The masonry is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. In the Philippines, masonry was introduced in 1856 with the establishment of the first masonic lodge in the province of Cavite.
Among its famous members were Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Antonio Luna, Marcelo del Pilar, Mariano Ponce, Graciano Lopez Jaena and Apolinario Mabini.
According to the source, the controversies hounding Purisima is taking a toll on the organization and like most Filipinos, masons are hoping that the PNP chief, also their current Grand Master, could shed light on the matter immediately.
He said whether the accusations against him are true, Purisima has the obligation to the people to explain because he is a public official.
Purisima is facing two plunder complaints at the office of the Ombudsman. The first was filed by Gerard Ricafranca on April 16 in relation to a questionable deal entered into by the PNP with private courier service company, WerFast Documentary Agency, three years ago. Firearms and Explosives Office head Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles was also named respondent in the complaint.
The second was filed by Perfecto Tagalog of the Coalition of Filipino Consumers (CFC) on September 22 in connection with the alleged misdeclaration on Purisima’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
Purisima is also being criticized for the failure of the PNP to address rising criminality, as well as the involvement of some members of the police institution in kidnap-for-ransom, robbery and extortion.
The source, however, said it is also possible that elders of the freemasonry may also opt not to take action on Purisima’s case and just wait for him to step down as Grand Master on April 2015.
He added that the allegations against Purisima could stain the dignity of the Freemasons and bring shame to the organization.
As Grand Master, Purisima holds the highest position in Philippine masonry. Other officials include Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin as Senior Grand Master and retired PNP official Tomas Rentoy 3rd as deputy Grand Master.
Meanwhile, former senator Panfilo Lacson said Purisima should voluntarily go on leave or resign if the accusations hurled against him are true.
“If not true, he [Purisima] should come out and explain to the public and to his own men in the PNP why the allegations are false because the issues have gone to the level where he cannot escape explaining his side of the story,” Lacson added.