SENATOR Panfilo Lacson sees the realization of a “drug-free” Philippines under the Duterte administration but he also expressed deep concern over the 600 cases of summary execution of suspected drug pushers recorded by the Philippine National Police.
Though he fully supports the PNP’s heightened anti-illegal drugs campaign, through its “Oplan Tokhang,” Lacson said the PNP leadership should solve the alleged “murder” of suspected drug lords and drug pushers or else they will be accused of tolerating such crime.
“Whether they like it or not, ‘yan ang magiging perception. At the very least tino-tolerate nila. At worst, baka sila ang nag-sponsor. So dapat talaga ipakita nila iso-solve nila ang murder cases na ‘yan,” said Lacson in a chance interview.
“Personally, nakita ko ang drug-free Philippines has now become a possibility dahil sa momentum at nangyayaring drive ng administration against illegal drugs. Never before nakita natin na more than 100,000 nag-surrender, whether pushers or users, ilang libo naaresto at tuluy-tuloy,” he said.
“Kaya lang nakakabahala lang dahil maski sino na lang, p’wede pumatay at maski sino p’wede mamatay at the hands of vigilantes. I’m not referring to legitimate police operations but ‘yung perpetrated by vigilante groups,” said Lacson.
He added: “Napag-alaman ko from well-informed sources sa loob ng PNP mismo, ang bilang nila 600 and they are trying to validate the 600 killings na summary killings talaga, dahil hindi police operations.”
He wants to know whether the PNP has already started the investigation of the 600 cases of extrajudicial killing of alleged drug pushers, which is outside the figure of those killed during legitimate police operations.
Senator Leila de Lima had already sought an investigation into the rising number of alleged drug pushers killed during buy-bust operations. “Ang gusto ko tutukan kung magkakaroon ng investigation at ipapatawag at dadalo ang mga pulis, tatanungin ko, kasi ang record nila higit pa sa record ng naitatala ng media. Sa media mahigit 200 lang,” Lacson said.
“So, itatanong ko sa kanila, ilan ba among the 600 na summary executions ang mga unidentified o vigilante groups? Ilan doon ang nasimulan na ng investigation? Ilan ang meron na silang leads? Ilan yung meron na silang na-identify? At ilan na-file-an ng kaso o mapa-file-an ng kaso? Kung wala, malaki talaga ang problema natin,” he said.
“For all intents and purposes, those are murder cases. Dahil hindi naman police ang nagsagawa at hindi naman sa police operations. Dahil maliwanag, killings ‘yan. So ‘pag killings at faceless individuals ang gumawa, talagang murder case ‘yan,” he said.
Lacson added: “At natatandaan ko noong CPNP (Chief, PNP) ako, kung umabot ng 10 murder cases ‘di namin ma-solve sa isang buwan, alarmado kami. And we’re talking of 600 murder cases in a month na kung walang solution eh talagang nakakabahala. There’s reason for the citizenry to be alarmed.”