MANILA, Philippines - Witnessing the destruction of close to half a million pesos worth of shabu and other illegal drugs in Trece Martirez, Cavite, Sen. Panfilo Lacson advised yesterday the country’s law enforcers to always keep their integrity if they intend to see change in their organization and restore the public’s trust.
Lacson admitted that the kidnapping and killing of SouthKorean businessman Jee Ick-joo by rogue members of the Philippine National Police has affected the credibility of the PNP, as issues of trust were raised by the public.
He assured the public that the problems are being addressed, with the policemen involved now facing criminals charges.
“I am quite sure they will be meted the appropriate penalty. And the other abuses committed, the President did right by suspending the operations by the PNP in the meantime they are undergoing internal cleansing,” Lacson said.
Lacson reiterated that the internal cleansing in the PNP should have been done before the policemen were ordered to undertake the war against drugs.
“I advised Chief PNP Gen. Dela Rosa, the internal cleansing should have been started first before you bid your men to go to war. You should make sure they are prepared. Not only battle-ready but should also be not only physically fit but morally prepared to address this big problem,” he said.
Lacson advised the country’s law enforcement agents that they should not allow “a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch.”
Now that there is a problem brought about by the killing of Jee, Lacson said that the surefire way to move forward is to do away with shenanigans and allay public distrust with concrete and measurable achievements.
“To accomplish that, you have to work on a solid foundation. That foundation is integrity and the test of integrity is, of course, credibility,” Lacson said.
“Unless law enforcers act with integrity – that is, with highest ethical standards and respect for the rule of law at all times – change, no matter how much work you put into it, will remain elusive,” he added.
A total of 311.64 kilograms of shabu and other illegal drugs were destroyed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Cavite the other day, with Lacson invited to witness the event and to speak before the guests.
The street value of the destroyed drugs was estimated at P435.87 million, which Lacson said translates to a month’s drug supply for around 39,000 average drug users; a week’s supply to 156,000 drug users; and a quick fix for a day to over 1.24 million shabu users.
“We should all work together to eliminate this menace by all means necessary, but with proper regard to and complete respect for the individual rights of all concerned, whether they be the one enforcing the law or the one to whom the law is being enforced,” Lacson said.