- Senator Ping Lacson said he had no doubt on the source of the president’s information regarding the allegations on the 5 PNP generals
- Senator Gringo Honasan, on the other hand, urged that the generals be accorded due process and not subjected to ‘trial by publicity’
- Honasan also vowed to push for an immediate investigation
MANILA, Philippines – At least two senators have different views on President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim on five active and retired Philippine National Police (PNP) generals who are allegedly involved in drug trade.
On Tuesday, July 5, Duterte named the five high-ranking police officials with alleged connection to drug syndicates as Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr. (retired), former National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, former Quezon City Police District Office (QCPDO) director Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio, former Western Visayas police chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, and Chief Superintendent Vic Loot (retired) who is now mayor of Daanbantayan, Cebu.
The newly-elected president dropped the bombshell during a speech at the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in Clark Freeport in Pampanga.
No doubt on Duterte’s info
Returning senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson, himself a former PNP chief, said he is not doubting the validity of the information from which Duterte based his allegations.
Lacson explained that “the commander-in-chief, more than anybody in this country, is in the best position to have access to all these vital and sensitive information and I have no reason to doubt or question its validity.”
The lawmaker went further by saying that he himself received information during the campaign period about at least two of those generals to be protectors of drug rings in the country. However, Lacson declined to name the two top cops.
”All I’m saying is, since the President himself mentioned those two names among the five, he must have good basis in what he divulged, especially if he had a different source of that information,” said Lacson.
Trial by publicity
But Senator Gregorio ‘Gringo’ Honasan, also a former soldier, said he is wary the five generals could end up as victims of ‘trial by publicity’ without going through the due process as required by the law.
Honasan insisted the rule of law must prevail, regardless whether Duterte have sufficient basis to accuse the five generals of coddling drug lords or protecting syndicates.
“Names are immaterial basta sundin lang ang due process (just make sure due process is followed) at rule of law at habang walang final verdict (and until there is no verdict),” said the former rebel soldier. “Huwag i-subject sa trial by publicity dahil kawawa naman mga anak at pamilya na walang kinalaman dito.”
[They should not be subjected to trial by publicity in consideration of the children and the family who have nothing to do with this.]
Honasan also vowed to push for an immediate investigation on the controversy.