Presidential candidate Senator Panfilo Lacson on Saturday said if elected, he will hire secret agents to catch erring and corrupt government employees.
This drastic measure, according to Lacson, will keep even hardheaded members of the bureaucracy on their toes, for fear they would be caught and punished.
“In the bureaucracy, we can field operatives who pretend to be applicants, to catch mulcting employees. The corrupt employees will soon be on their toes because they don’t know if the applicant they are extorting from is a secret operative,” he said in an interview on Radyo 5.
“It is good to adopt a drastic approach to remove the Inept, Corrupt, and Undisciplined from the bureaucracy,” he added.
Lacson also said Saturday the country must be fully prepared for a possible spillover to Asia of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The Partido Reporma standard bearer said the Philippines has to walk the talk since it has supported the United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This, according to Lacson, includes allowing the use of our facilities by allies such as the United States.
“We signed the UN General Assembly resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. We should walk the talk. If our facilities are needed whether it be on land, sea, or air, that is but proper,” he said in an interview on DZRH radio.
Lacson, who has earned a reputation for fighting corruption in his 50 years in public service, added that while he as President would have power only over the executive branch of government, this drastic measure will put those in the legislature and judiciary on notice.
“I believe that if the judiciary and legislature see that the executive branch is working properly after being rid of corruption, they will follow suit. That is human nature,” he said.
Lacson, who is running for President in the May 9 elections under Partido Reporma, said he had done this to get rid of the “kotong culture” in the Philippine National Police when he headed it from 1999 to 2001.
This will jibe with his and his Vice Presidential bet Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III’s campaign theme of fixing the government’s ills (Aayusin ang Gobyerno, Aayusin ang Buhay ng Bawat Pilipino).
Also, Lacson said he plans to have the Plunder Law revisited, to correct its weaknesses and make it easier to implement, so it will deter the corrupt from stealing from public coffers.
Lacson—who said corruption is one of the scourges that threatens to ruin his day, especially when he learns of Filipinos victimized by it— reiterated that should he be elected President, he will set the tone for the government in his first day in office by signing a waiver of his rights under the Bank Secrecy Act – and undertake a massive sustained internal cleansing of the bureaucracy.
He stressed anew as well his vow to put a premium on transparency in government dealings, including the procurement of vaccines to address the Covid threat. “Transparency is the essence of fighting corruption,” he said.
As early as last month, Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, called on Philippine authorities to prepare for the effects of the conflict.
Presently, he noted we are already feeling the effects of the conflict on the economy, with fuel prices already skyrocketing.
While Lacson said he hopes the Russia-Ukraine conflict will not lead to nuclear war, it is better that the Philippines prepare for all scenarios.
“It is better to be prepared than be surprised,” he said.
The longtime public servant also pointed out that the present situation shows the value of having allies who can help ensure our security from external threats.
“We must be consistent—we must maintain close ties with allies who will help ensure our security from external threat,” he said.