#PingSays: On NPAs as terror group, PDEA initial performance, and heavier penalties in hazing | Nov. 20, 2017

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– Reported plan to consider the NPA as a terrorist group
– Revolutionary government
– Penalties vs hazing after Atio Castillo case

Quotes from the interview:Β 

On President Duterte’s reported plan to tag the NPA as a terrorist group:
“I think it’s about time. Kahit nasa atin ang NPA yet other countries have already declared them as terrorists. Besides, ano ang ginagawa? For the longest time as far as we can remember they engage in terroristic acts para makapag-extort ng pera sa mga industries, sa may negosyo sa malalayong lugar. Ganoon ang nangyayari. So I think nag-deteriorate talaga ang ideology nila kung meron mang naiwan na ideology. Kasi they now resort to extortion under the guise of revolutionary taxation.”
“So only a president with the guts of President Duterte can declare and follow through ang kanyang sinabi. And I think ang military and police and our security forces would know how to respond.”

On effect on peace talks:
“Useless kasi every administration nag-e-embark sa peace initiative di ba? Pero di magkakasundo because of the demands. Ang demands na binibigay ng CPP NPA NDF mostly halos impossible to be met. I had the chance of looking at the, at least 10 demands submitted during the time of former President Aquino. One of the demands that struck me, yung armed regulars nila will continue possessing their firearms and will be appointed as forest guards. So anong intention? Pagka naging NPA regulars, they will control all the forest lands. So lalong walang laban ang mga may negosyo at industries in those areas. And they will be able to amass resources na gagamitin din nila, after all, to fight government.”

On PDEA’s performance thus far in leading the anti-drug war:
“Maganda kasi they have been scoring a lot against drugs. Pero 1,700 personnel, anong magagawa nila to cover 100M Filipinos na pwede maging vulnerable sa drug problem, maapektuhan?”

On a revolutionary government:
“Of course it’s not even unconstitutional kasi wala sa Constitution. Walang basis actually. Pwede tayo mag-revolutionary government after a revolution just like what President Cory did. Pero anong magiging basis? Ang Martial Law may basis sa Constitution, may mga requirements. But maghanap kayo ng provision sa Constitution natin na under certain circumstances pwede magtayo ng revolutionary government, wala.”
“Nagsalita ang military establishment they will not support, and rightly so because who will support a revolutionary government which in the first place is not even found in the Constitution? I don’t think he will.”

On penalties vs those involved in hazing cover-ups:
“Yung mga in the future kasi prospective application, in the future yung mag-gru-group chat para sabihing sirain ang ebidensya, or ang cover-up, obstruction of justice, ang gagawin naming recommendation e ibaba ng isang grade lower sa reclusion perpetua. Nang tinanong ko ang resource persons, reclusion temporal yan. Tataasan. Yan ang isang maliwanag na nakita namin dapat baguhin. And several others that may be contributed by other members of the committee.”