Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson on Thursday vowed to go after politicians who are “obstructing” the government’s rehabilitation efforts in areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Lacson said he has a “short list” of those who have tried to hamper reconstruction efforts.
“Mostly politicians. What else is new? Possibly administration allies, ang iba sa opposition din,” he told reporters.
“I have a list. But sabi ko nga [as I said], I’ll just deal with them sooner or later. It is just a short list compared to the long list of those who are in, yung mga gustong tumulong [those who want to help],” he added
According to him, the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is currently investigating those allegedly engaged in graft in the reconstruction projects.
“We will make sure once the evidence gathered will warrant the filing of criminal charges against those responsible, we will not hesitate, no matter how close they are to the administration or no matter what affiliations they have, political or otherwise,” Lacson said.
In his keynote speech at the Experts Forum on Rebuilding Communities and Ecosystems After “Yolanda” at the Asian Institute of Management, the former senator reiterated his vow to go after those who will hamper his work.
“While I adhere to a policy of inclusion, I will not hesitate to go after people regardless of their political affiliation, who will put their personal interest and greed above the missions and goals set forth by the President,” Lacson said. “Roughly translated in cinematic words, ‘It’s either you’re in or in the way.’ And while the list of those who are in continues to grow, I am bent to deal with those who are getting in the way sooner or later.”
“All of these, we’re doing silently for the longest time, purposely not wanting to attract attention, for we believe that whatever we will accomplish will speak for itself when it’s finished. For in the end, it’s the entire government and the Filipino people, not me who chose to pick themselves up and conquer the odds,” he added.
Lacson said his office will continue coordinating with local government officials regardless of their political affiliation.
“One thing I learned in this job is being color-blind. Kasi we’re dealing with different political personalities. After all pagka tiningnan mo kulay ng pulitika, you will be dealing with political personalities, and we might be able to neglect the needs of the people,” he said.
“We’ll continue coordinating with them after all that’s my mandate, coordinating naman kami. But I will think or devise some way of dealing with them more vigorously,” he added.