Ridding the streets of “kotong” – where jeepney drivers lose some P300 a day to crooked cops – will be one of the first priorities under the presidency of Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson. And that’s a promise.
Lacson said he had done this when he headed the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001, when he rid the police force not only of mulcting cops but the kotong culture.
“Ito pwede kong ipangako – ang kotong sa kalsada mawawala (This I can promise: kotong in the streets will disappear),” he said at a sectoral forum with bus operators.
Pera noon, paninda ngayon: Sa ganitong paraan bumalik ang kotong sa kabila ng pandemya kung saan nagbibigay pa ng listahan ang mga tiwaling pulis sa mga nagtitinda sa Divisoria kung ano ang mga bagay na gusto nilang tirahin.
Ito ang isinawalat ni Senador Ping Lacson nitong Sabado, kung saan ibinahagi niya ang laman kanyang pakikipagusap sa mga tindero at tindera sa Divisoria.
“Ngayon daw iba na. Ang pulis, for some reason, may listahan na bawa’t pondohan sa lugar na pinagtitindahan. Listahan na binibigay. Ito dapat inyong ibigay, gulay, prutas, paninda. Balik na naman tayo. Day-to-day corruption,” ani Lacson, na bumuwag sa kultura ng kotong sa Philippine National Police noong pinamunuan niya ito mula 1999 to 2001, sa kanyang panayam sa DZRH.
From cash to a cut of one’s fruits and vegetables: This is how “kotong” has evolved amid the pandemic, with corrupt policemen now giving vendors in Divisoria a list of items they should fork over.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson disclosed this on Saturday, citing a conversation he had with vendors selling wares in Manila’s Divisoria commercial district.
“Ngayon daw iba na. Ang pulis, for some reason, may listahan na bawa’t pondohan sa lugar na pinagtitindahan. Listahan na binibigay. Ito dapat inyong ibigay, gulay, prutas, paninda. Balik na naman tayo. Day-to-day corruption (Kotong is back but in a different form. For some reason, police now present vendors with a list of items they should give them, such as a cut of the fruits, vegetables or whatever they are sending),” Lacson, who had eradicated the kotong culture in the Philippine National Police when he headed it from 1999 to 2001, said in an interview on DZRH radio.
From Lito Banayo’s columns in the ManilaStandard: His stint as chief of the PNP was hailed by one and all, resulting in the police organization’s getting an all-time high trust rating. He stopped the everyday “kotong” which preyed on most everybody, from jeepney drivers to taxi drivers, to “viajeros” of food produce.
Starting January 2019, when the salary increase of policemen takes effect in compliance with Joint Resolution No. 1, it bears watching if ‘kotong cops’ will disappear from the street corners and dark alleys and instead focus on their job of protecting and serving the people.
I have high hopes that it will materialize, since with all the benefits and unprecedented salary hike accorded to the military and uniformed personnel, thanks to the strong political will of President Rodrigo Duterte who almost singlehandedly pushed for the same, there is every reason for right-thinking police officers to love and secure their profession, not to mention to be motivated enough to show a debt of gratitude to their Commander-in-Chief who made an almost impossible legislation to pass.
Looking back, I can’t help but realize how we – starting from our cadetship in the Philippine Military Academy, all the way to retirement from the uniformed service, were fed, clothed, sheltered, and provided with all the logistical support and more – should have no reason whatsoever not to give back all we can, even our lives to government and the Filipino taxpayers who spent for all that we needed.
That is why it is deplorable, to say the least, when we hear of ranking military and police officers who abuse their positions, steal government funds, and even the meal allowances of their men.
Sa halip na smuggling, maaring tangkang pangongotong o tara ang pakay ng nagbitiw na si dating Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon sa akusasyon nito kay Senador Panfilo Lacson.
Lumalabas kasi sa pag-aaral at mga dokumentong nakalap ng tanggapan ng mambabatas na ang mga argumento ni Faeldon tungkol sa akusasyon nito na umano’y technical smuggling ng semento ay taliwas sa mga umiiral na panuntunan.
Is it really smuggling? Or is it more like technical kotong?
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson posed this question to ex-Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon amid his repeated accusations of “smuggling” of cement against his son.
“Is there such a thing as smuggling of cement between ASEAN countries? None, because there is zero tariff for cement under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Free Trade Area (AFTA), and even the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA),” Lacson said.