Amid its significant gains in the fight against illegal drugs, the Philippine National Police must also take steps to earn the trust of relatives of recent killings, especially those involving policemen, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Thursday.
Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, said the witnesses who spoke at Senate hearings looking into the killings earlier this week indicated victims’ kin sought help from agencies other than the PNP.
“If we take the claims of the witness hook, line and sinker, many people are afraid to report killings to the police out of lack of trust. The PNP leadership will have to bridge that gap,” he said in a radio interview.
He noted the witnesses who appeared at this week’s hearings had accused police personnel of supplying them with drugs to sell, then killing them to silence them.
Lacson said the resulting loss of trust has kept victims’ relatives from reporting cases of killings to the police, for fear of reprisal.
“The PNP leadership will have to do what is needed to earn back the trust of the public,” he said.