From People’s Journal: Quite thankfully, a former National Police chief, veteran law enforcer, and now lawmaker is leading the fight to curb ownership of firearms to address the problem of indiscriminate shooting and other political violence ahead of the elections.
In an interview on CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– pork in the 2019 budget
– Chinese presence in the West Philippine Sea
– reported plan to publicly name cops involved in the drug trade
In Cebu, Sen. Lacson led the PNP Foundation Inc.’s turnover of mountain bikes and other equipment to the Police Regional Office 7. The mountain bikes would be useful for police work in beaches and parks where tourists are concentrated. Sen. Lacson, who chairs the PNPFI, is an Adopted Son of Cebu, having served as Commander of Cebu Metrodiscom from 1989 to 1992. Following is the text of his speech at the event.
Police Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, Police Brig. Gen. Agustin, Police Brig. Gen. Gillamac, the members of the Regional Staff and other officers and personnel present, my Senate staff as well as the PNP Foundation Inc. staff, my former comrades in the Cebu Metrodiscom in Metro Cebu, maayong buntag sa inyong tanan.
First of all, let me personally thank the officers and men of PRO-7 for the warm welcome that you have given me and my staff. Rest assured that I will always be a friend of the PNP in heart and spirit in whatever capacity, either as Chairman of the PNP Foundation Inc., or as an elected Senator of the Republic, especially in my role as Vice Chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate.
For the past several years that I have been actively participating in the national budget deliberations, I always make sure the PNP will get the necessary budgetary requirements to more efficiently accomplish your mission.
Without prejudice to findings of a formal investigation that may be contrary to the Philippine National Police’s version of the Negros Oriental operations, all peace-loving Filipinos should support our police and Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel for risking their lives to keep our communities safe and secure from bad elements, instead of condemning them only because highly partisan and organized leftist groups are busy with their usual propaganda efforts to harass our troops from sustaining their anti-insurgency and anti-criminality campaign.
When farmers possess rifle grenades, fragmentation grenades, handguns, shotguns, ammunition, phones and subversive documents, it says a lot about their tactics in their insurgency campaign aimed at a protracted guerrilla warfare aimed at overthrowing the duly constituted authority.
I urge the Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of National Defense to provide all the necessary legal and other forms of assistance to our troops and not make them feel abandoned. Now, more than anytime, they should be assisted by their superior officers until and unless it is proven that they violated the established rules of engagement and the existing laws of the land.
Kailangan nang buklatin ang mga nilalaman ng mga umiiral na batas ng bansa tungkol sa pagmamay-ari at pagdadala ng baril sa labas ng tahanan, bunga na rin ng paparami na insidente ng pamamaril.
Bukod dito, binabanggit din ni Senador at dating Philippine National Police Chief Panfilo Lacson na kailangan nang ibahin ng publiko ang kanilang pananaw sa mga sibilyan na nakikitaang nagdadala ng baril sa labas ng tahanan.
“Presently, when we see persons in civilian attire with firearms bulging from their pants, we just assume they are police or military personnel. It should be the other way around. If we see someone in civilian attire and with a firearm, we should instinctively assume the person is up to no good, and report him or her to the nearest police station,” pahayag ni Lacson.
Binigyang halimbawa ni Lacson ang mga ginagawa ng awtoridad sa ibayong dagat na maski mga pulis, depende sa lugar, ay hindi nakikitang nagdadala o may sukbit na baril sa baywang katulad lamang ng kadalasang nakikita sa Hong Kong.
A string of recent shootings, including the killing of a policeman along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) on March 26, should prompt changes in the public mindset as well as legislation regarding the possession and carrying of firearms outside residence, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
Lacson said the killing of Police Senior Master Sergeant Solomon Cugay shows gunmen can act with impunity because of loose firearm laws as well as the public mindset that people with firearms in civilian attire are lawmen.
“Presently, when we see persons in civilian attire with firearms bulging from their pants, we just assume they are police or military personnel. It should be the other way around. If we see someone in civilian attire and with a firearm, we should instinctively assume the person is up to no good, and report him or her to the nearest police station,” Lacson, who headed the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001, said in an interview on DZMM radio on Wednesday.
“Every day, we hear of someone being gunned down by motorcycle-riding assailants. A policeman is the latest victim in a growing list that includes politicians, traders and even lawyers,” he added.
In an interview on DZBB, Sen. Lacson discloses how a whopping P95 billion of the DPWH’s 2019 budget was manipulated for pork. Other topics in the interview:
– Senate’s stand on not signing the ‘manipulated’ budget bill
– investigation of former PCSO GM Balutan
“Sabihin ko na tahasan. Ginulo ng House of Representatives kasi ayaw nila sumunod sa Constitution. Ayaw nila sumunod sa legislative process na tama. Sa ngalan ng pork barrel.”
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– possible delay in the signing of the 2019 budget due to House’s post-ratification pork
– need to revisit RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty amid US State Secretary Pompeo’s assurance
Matatapos na ang kalituhang dinaranas ng publiko sa pagtawag sa ranggo ng mga kapulisan at sundalo dahil ganap nang nilagdaan ng Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang batas na nagtatama sa mga ito.
Ang Republic Act 11200 na para sa PNP rank classification ay kabilang sa mga pinakahuling batas na nilagdaan ng Pangulo na una nang itinulak at inisponsor ni Senador at dating PNP Chief Panfilo Lacson sa Senado.
Sa ilalim ng naturang batas, klinaro na ang mga ranggo ng PNP sa mga katugmang katungkulan ng mga ito.
“This measure eliminates confusion on how our law enforcers must be addressed, and brings our policemen closer to the populace. More importantly, this allows for better coordination between the PNP and other law enforcement units in countering terrorism and other threats to national security,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Filipinos stand to benefit twofold from a new law authored by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson that provides for rank classification in the Philippine National Police.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11200, which standardizes the way PNP officers are called, into law last Feb. 8.
“This measure eliminates confusion on how our law enforcers must be addressed, and brings our policemen closer to the populace. More importantly, this allows for better coordination between the PNP and other law enforcement units in countering terrorism and other threats to national security,” said Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001.