• Lacson fears Senate drug probe may turn into ‘spectacle’


    SENATOR Panfilo Lacson on Sunday expressed concern over the planned Senate inquiry on the spate of drug killings, saying it may lead to a “spectacle” just like what happened during the investigation of the “Kuratong baleleng” incident two decades ago.

    Lacson maintained that there are agencies that could handle the investigation.

    Senator Leila de Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 9 seeking an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the extrajudicial killings and summary executions of suspected drug dealers and users. The Senate inquiry is expected to start on the second week of August.

    Lacson however made it clear that he is not against the investigation because he lso wants the police to explain its actions against the so-called vigilante groups that could be behind the killing of suspected criminals.

    The senator said what he is objecting to is the plan to summon the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and question him about a specific incident that happened in one area when it can be answered by the police chief of that city.

    “I want to prevent that from happening, because it could demoralize our PNP officials and might discourage them pursuing their all-out campaign against illegal drugs,” he explained.

    Lacson admitted having misgivings because he had the same experience as member of the PNP particularly at the height of the “Kuratong Baleleng” issue wherein they were accused of killing “defenseless” suspected bank robbers.

    Three Senate committees investigated the case and came out with a report recommending the filing of cases against then Chief Supt. Panfilo Lacson, who was then head of the police task force that carried out the operation against the crime group, and other police officers involved in the operation.

    The Supreme Court already cleared Lacson.

    “They feasted on us, we were helpless, they already judged us as criminals,” Lacson said.

    The senator said he does not want a repeat of that incident.

    “The probe could turn into a spectacle and a fishing expedition and the police can’t do anything,” he said.

    If it is up to him, Lacson said he will call an executive session rather than question police officials in a public hearing.



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