THE peace and order situation could worsen after President-elect Rodrigo Duterte called on citizens to arrest and shoot suspected drug lords, Senator-elect Panfilo Lacson warned Monday, noting that law enforcement agencies could lose control of the situation.
“Certainly, no peace-loving citizens need or deserve a “wild, wild west” environment,” said Lacson, who headed the Philippine National Police during the Estrada administration.
Instead of shooting persons involved in the illicit drug operations, he said, private citizens should be encouraged to report their presence to the authorities.
“And this is where the incentive of a monetary reward should come into play,” Lacson said.
Earlier, Duterte said he would need P1 billion for bounties to kill or arrest 200 notorious drug traffickers or a reward of P5 million for each drug lord, and said he could use his unspent campaign funds for this purpose.
“I will pay P5 million bounty [for killing] drug lords. If alive, P4.99 million only,” Duterte told a crowd during his victory celebration at the Crocodile Park in Davao City.
But Lacson said they needed to validate a list of drug suspects, a careful and tedious process that would lead to an order of battle.
But Senator Juan Edgardo Angara aired his support for Duterte’s “all-out war” against illegal drugs.
“We support measures to help rid the police of scalawags allegedly involved in corruption and illegal drugs. We also support the proposed salary increase of policemen to attract more qualified and competent law enforcers in the country,” he said.
Senate Deputy Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III underscored the need to transform Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency under the Office of the President to have authority, enforcement, control and supervision over all matters involving illegal drugs.
While the Justice Department has control over the prosecution of drug-related cases, he noted that for the last six years, 80 percent of drug cases were dismissed.
Sotto, who served as chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board, said he would work in the Senate to incorporate all the functions related fo illegal drugs under one agency.
Reacting to Duterte’s call for three police generals allegedly involved in drugs to resign, outgoing PNP chief Ricardo Marquez said they only have “raw information” about high-ranking suspects.
“We have not found any evidence yet that will support the information about the involvement of active generals. But we have raw information, so we deployed special teams of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group in the Visayas but until now, the work is in progress,” Marquez told reporters at Camp Crame.
Marquez did not elaborate.
During the victory party last Saturday in Davao City, Durterte warned the generals whom he did not name to resign before his oath-taking on June 30 or else he would humiliate them.
“Corruption must stop. I would have to ask about three generals diyan sa Crame to resign. Do not wait for me to name you in public because I will only humiliate you,” Duterte said.
Marquez said they had no idea about the generals that Duterte mentioned.
“A big part of our campaign against drugs is the internal cleansing, one of the major deliverables of an organization,” he said.
Thirteen persons, including three brothers, were arrested by the police for illegal drug activities in Aurora, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and Bataan, police said Monday.
Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, regional director of the PRO 3, identified the suspects as Kirby Carrasco, 34, Carlito Carrasco, 34, Gabby Carrasco, 37, Carlos Nico Molina, Dennis delos Santos ,46, Manelyn Mejia and Jayson Renomeron, all residents of Barangay Buhagin, Baler, Aurora.
Aquino said that the suspects, including Kirby who was the head of illegal drug operation in the province, were arrested during a buy-bust operation in the area. The suspects were brought to the provincial headquarter for further investigation while charges are being prepared against them, Aquino said.
Seized from Carrasco were one .38 cal. revolver and several sachets of shabu worth several thousands of pesos. With Romeo Dizon