Blasting him for being a “crusader but ignorant” and allegedly driven by his desire to run for president, Senator Panfilo Lacson yesterday lashed back at President Rodrigo Duterte and asked him “who’s ignorant?”
Before hurling this question to the President, Lacson cited some of the statements of President Duterte that he firmly believed would amount to corruption.
“Some of them were the following―“Duterte’’ OK with cops accepting ‘gifts’ out of gratitude, earning extra cash from video-karera.
Then Lacson asked, ‘‘Is this not graft Mr. President? Pray tell, who is ignorant?’’
Lacson earlier slammed Duterte for telling policemen they could accept gifts.
In his Twitter Account, Lacson posted: ‘‘Mr. President, insatiable greed starts with simple, petty graft. It could be more addictive than drugs. There is no detox, nor is there a rehab facility.’’
The senator was reacting to Duterte’s speech during the PNP’s 118th Service anniversary where the President said he would not stop policemen from accepting gifts.
According to Lacson, the President was exaggerating when he said he had the penchant to comment on every issue.
“Aside from my Twitter posts, I only comment on issues when asked, and not even all the time, Lacson said.
“I play ‘dedma’ when I am not familiar with the issue.”
Although he was not a lawyer, Lacson said, he knew how to read and understand the law.
He also told the President, who was a prosecutor for more than 20 years, he would ask his lawyer-staff when he could not understand the law.
While the President said he was fighting corruption, the former Philippine National Police chief said he was also crusading to expose corruption in the government.
If we are not complementing each other in this regard, there must be a problem somewhere, Lacson said.
He also rejected the claims by Duterte that he was eying the Presidency. He ran for president in 2004 but lost to former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in an election marred by allegations of electoral fraud.
Duterte said he surmised that Lacson was running for President but warned him to be more circumspect.
His daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, is reportedly being eyed by some political observers as the strongest force to reckon with in the coming 2020 elections.
When earlier asked if he intended to run again for president, Lacson said he wanted to see first the ‘‘numbers.”
Lacson, who considers himself an independent senator, was the latest member of the Upper Chamber who got the ire of the President.
Duterte rebuked Lacson for commenting on a lot of issues which he believed was triggered by his presidential ambition. He also assailed the former police general for ‘‘trying to be a crusader but ignorant.”
But Duterte said he could “forgive” Lacson for that because “he is not a lawyer.”