- Senator-elect Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson said Duterte should not encourage the public to arrest and kill suspected drug lords
- Lacson warned that such a scenario could reduce the country into a ‘Wild West’; with authorities eventually losing control of the situation
- The former PNP chief said the public should instead report the presence of suspected drug pushers in their area
MANILA, Philippines – Senator-elect Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson disagrees with incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest pronouncement encouraging the public to arrest suspected drug lords and shoot them if they resist.
Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and anti-crime czar under the Estrada administration, said such as a scenario could quickly escalate into a peace and order problem and might reduce the country into a ‘Wild West’.
Lacson explained that while a provision in the Revise Penal Code allows for a citizen’s arrest and that killing a person in self-defense is legally valid, authorities may eventually lost control of the situation since ordinary civilians lack training in intelligence-gathering.
“Palagay ko ay hindi na dapat manggaling pa sa isang halal na pangulo ang pag-encourage sa publiko to take it upon themselves to arrest and kill suspected drug lords sa dahilang baka mawalan na ng control ang law enforcement agencies or officers sa pagsugpo ng ilegal na droga,” Lacson said in a statement to reporters.
[In my opinion, encouraging the public to take it upon themselves to arrest and kill suspected drug lords should not come from an elected president as it might result in law enforcement agencies losing control of the situation in battling illegal drugs.]
“Having said that, the situation might escalate into a serious peace and order problem in the entire country,” added Lacson. “Certainly, no peace-loving citizens need and deserve a ‘Wild, Wild West’ environment.”
Earlier, Duterte told reporters in a press conference in Davao City he is ready to reward citizens who would take matters into their own hands and kill suspected drug dealers, in order to help him in his campaign against illegal drugs.
“You can kill him,” Duterte said of those who might try to resist arrest. “Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal.”
But Lacson contended that identifying drug dealers is not as easy as many people thought, especially that it involves a tedious process of gathering intelligence before coming up with an ‘order of battle’ (OB) list.
OB is a classified document, the incoming senator explained, and declassifying it goes through a defined procedure and timeline.
However, Lacson added, the public should instead be encouraged to report the presence of drug pushers and syndicate in their area.