MANILA — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should again reorient cops involved in anti-illegal drug operations as more people seemed to doubt the administration’s drug war.
Lacson made this remark reacting to a recent Social Weather Station (SWS) survey which showed that nearly half of Filipinos doubted that victims killed by cops in the drug war were indeed drug pushers.
“We should take it seriously… I’d like to suggest to the PNP to go back to the drawing board until they perfect their operations,” Lacson, a former PNP chief, told reporters.
The senator pointed out that the drug war temporarily slowed down when South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was killed in the premises of the PNP headquarters. However, when it resumed, it seemingly got “worse” as the victims of drug killings were getting younger.
“Remember, after the Jee Ick Joo case, they paused for a while and there was a lull. The problem is, they later continued it and I was thinking they were going to hold back, that they were going to conduct reeducation. But when they resumed, there was Carl, Kian, and Kulot. It got worse,” Lacson said.
Teenagers Kian Delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz, and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman were among the minors killed in the drug war.
Lacson, however, acknowledged that the war on drugs cannot be stopped.
“We cannot stop it (anti-drug operations). But police should be reoriented. They should follow the rule of law and not take any shortcut. Although it’s easier said than done,” he added.
Burden a police matter
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, for his part, said that the burden of the PNP was to show that it had the minimum skills and capability to solve at least some of these crimes.
“The burden is on the PNP to show that it has the minimum skills and capability to solve at least some of these crimes if not all but what’s saddening is if it cannot even solve one of these thousands of crimes,” Pimentel told reporters.Pimentel said that he did not hear any reports of the PNP being able to solve any of the killings.
“They should resort to media and announce their achievement. But we don’t hear anything,” he said. (PNA)