✉ Letter to the Editor: ‘Wisdom in Lacson’s warning’ [Inquirer]

letter to the editor

To the Inquirer: This is in connection with the letter (5/4/18) from retired Philippine Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Sotelo, where he questioned Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s statement about the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency making public the list of barangay officials linked to illegal drugs. 

‘Wisdom in Lacson’s warning’

05:04 AM May 07, 2018

This is in connection with the letter, “Lacson, the politician” (5/4/18), from retired Philippine Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Sotelo, where he questioned Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s statement about the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency making public the list of barangay officials linked to illegal drugs.

Contrary to Sotelo’s claim, there is wisdom in Lacson’s warning that making public the list, which is based on intelligence reports, would have a backlash especially on those who turn out to be innocent.

As Lacson has stressed, doing so could not only bring unnecessary shame to those who turn out to be innocent; it could also subject them to harassment or even put their lives at risk. Such an act would also forewarn those who are into the illegal drug trade, and allow them the chance to clean up traces of their involvement.

This early, news reports have narrated problems regarding the list made public by the PDEA. Not least of them is that of a barangay kagawad in Batangas who was in the list—but who turned out to have been dead for more than a year.

Having served in the Armed Forces, Sotelo should be aware of the value of an intelligence report, including the fact that it is for the consumption of law enforcement agencies—a guide for them to build up cases against those involved before the proper venues.

Joel Locsin, media relations officer, Office of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson