#PingSays: On addressing loose firearms, anti-jueteng ops, Charter change | July 4, 2018

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answers questions on:
– need for PNP to be stricter vs loose firearms
– recent killings of local officials
– anti-jueteng operations
– proposed amendments to the Constitution by the consultative committee

Quotes from the interview… 

On firearms control:
“I reiterate my call to the PNP na magsagawa sila, put in place a stricter firearms control or some control measures. Kasi masyadong nag-proliferate ang illegal firearms, loose firearms. Not only loose firearms. Para bang every Tom, Dick and Harry. Ang vision ko rito even when I was Chief PNP, I was looking at the time when people will just instinctively treat a person carrying firearms as criminal element. In other words, only those in military or police uniform, and those who are in civilian clothes but actually performing overt operations against criminal elements should be allowed to carry firearms. Otherwise pag nakakita tayo ng civilian na hindi naman nakauniporme, na may nakabukol sa baywang, agad-agad ang instinct natin is tumawag ng pulis, na meron ditong suspicious character, just like in HK, Japan, and other countries.”
“(The Philippines) is just about the only country at least in Asia, na maski sino pwede magdala ng baril. Para bang pag nakakita tayong may baril, pulis siguro yan, yan ang naging assumption. Dapat ang assumption baligtad. Pag nakakita tayo ng taong may baril at naka-civilian, criminal yan ang assumption. So ang instinct natin tumawag ng pulis. But now pag nakakita tayo ng aaligid sa bangko na nakabaril, pulis siguro yan, so we don’t mind. Yun pala may ia-assassinate na pala. So that’s the gist ng suggestion ko sa PNP, na come out with stricter firearm control measure.”

On allegations that recent killings were ‘inspired’ by President Duterte’s supposed threats:
“No, I don’t think so. Pag especially sa local politics, pagka masyadong fierce ang political battle, ang fight, they resort to killing each other. But it is incumbent upon the PNP to do something about it. How? Control the movement of firearms.”
“Hindi doon nanggagaling yan. Masyadong ang proliferation ng loose firearms grabe sa ating bansa. The PNP could not even give us the number of loose firearms.”

On whether there is a breakdown of law and order:
“Sa ngayon no. We have not reached that level yet. But I fear na baka umabot tayo roon kung di magsasagawa ng control measures ang PNP.”

On President Duterte’s clarification he is not halting anti-jueteng/gambling operations:
“That’s good to hear. Pare-pareho understanding natin. Of course we did not see the full transcript of his speech. Pero pare-pareho ang pagkakaintindi natin. So palagay ko hindi ako nagkakamali sa pagkaintindi ng kanyang sinabi. And it’s good he is correcting it, and in effect addressing the PNP para di maligaw ang interpretation ng PNP.”
“That’s good enough for me. Kasi kung mali ang interpretation ng PNP lalala ang corruption pagdating sa pag-address ng illegal gambling. Kasi kung ang … nila ok sa presidente makipagusap tayo sa gambling lords, milyong piso din yan every month, at least sa level ng provincial directors.”
“Even during my time, yung illegal gambling low sa priority namin yan. There are other matters that should be addressed better than illegal gambling. Pero di pwedeng tatalikuran ang illegal gambling. Pero di pwedeng tatalikuran natin illegal gambling because after all, that’s also a crime. There is a law that covers it, RA 9287. And it’s just like addressing murder or addressing robbery, addressing any type of crime. You can just imagine kung papayagan natin ang gambling baka sabihin ng pulis pwede na rin tayo tumalikod sa robbery holdup, total magkakapera rin tayo riyan. Pwede rin tayo tumalikod sa illegal drugs, magkakapera rin tayo riyan. Yan ang sinasabi kong corruption starts at the lowest level, petty corruption, and it morphs into more serious and bigger corruption until such time hindi na alam ng authority kung kalian, when and how to stop. Kasi addicting yan. Sabi ko nga sa inyo kung masama ang addiction sa drugs, mas masama ang addiction sa pera.”

On the Charter change proposals submitted by the consultative committee:
“Mahabang salaysayin pa ang Chacha because it’s just a proposal coming from a consultative council created by the president. Sa Senate, ang status yun pa lang mode of changing, amending or revising the charter, wala pa sa plenary. Di pa alam kung conass, concon.”
“Parang guidepost (ang proposals). Appeal ng Malacanang is kung pwede i-adopt. Pero it is up to Congress kung conass, and it’s up to the constitutional commission kung concon kung ia-adopt in toto, kung ire-revise or modify nila, or kung idi-disregard nila.”