Lacson shows doubts over Senate investigation on extra-judicial killings
As a former head of the Philippine National Police, Sen. Panfilo Lacson feels the unease of police officials facing Monday’s Senate investigation into extra-judicial killings amid the ongoing war against illegal drugs.
Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, aired his misgivings on the investigation headed by the justice committee under Leila de Lima. “Nakaharap na rin po ako sa ganitong uri ng legislative investigation and be seated on their side of the committee room. And I can tell you, the feeling was anything but pleasant. Never ako nakaramdam ng good vibes noon,” he said.
He said he can only hope the resource persons led by PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa will not be cursing the lawmakers for probing them/ “I just hope our resource persons who are members of the police force are not talking to themselves now as I speak, cursing us legislators the way I did then,” he said.
He also said that having come from the ranks of the police, he would “know and understand their psyche.” Lacson said he understands the police’s frustrations over a “flawed judicial system with unsympathetic, sometimes corrupt, prosecutors.” On the other hand, he said he is also familiar with the excuses made by corrupt police personnel.
“May mga tinanggal na ako sa serbisyo noong Chief PNP ako na nasipagbalikan nang wala na ako. At ginamit pa nila para gipitin ako at gipitin din ang mga dati kong tauhan na malalapit sa akin,” he said.
Yet, he also said he knows as well their enthusiasm and dedication to perform their duties to accomplish their assigned mission. Lacson also reiterated his misgivings to allow the Senate inquiry to proceed, including the possible railroading of the momentum the police had gained in a short time through life-risking work of fighting illegal drugs.
This “must not be deterred by legislative inquiries like what we are conducting right now,” he said.
Also, he said that having spent almost half of his life in law enforcement, “I could have been maimed or killed by enemy fire during police operations that I participated in, or the number of times I could have landed in jail while performing my duties as a law enforcer.”