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Sen. Lacson airs concern

Law enforcement agencies may lose control of their anti-illegal drug operations if the public heeds President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s call for the people to shoot and kill suspected drug dealers who resist arrest.

Re-elected Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said that while there is a provision under the Revised Penal Code allowing “citizens’ arrest” and self-defense is recognized as a strong legal defense in killing a person, he doesn’t see it necessary for the President to provide encouragement.

“The danger in the President-elect’s proposal is that law enforcement authorities might lose control of the situation since civilians are not trained to gather and process intelligence, even conduct overt operations against armed criminals,” he said.

“Having said that, the situation might escalate into a serious peace and order problem in the entire country.

Certainly, no peace loving citizens need and deserve a ‘Wild, Wild West’ environment,” he said.

Lacson, a former PNP chief, also said the process of authenticating real drug lords are done after a series of thorough investigation and discussion with other intelligence agencies in the so-called “intelligence workshop.”

“Validating the list of drug suspects and other criminal syndicates entails a series of exchanges of intelligence information among the different intelligence agencies in what we call ‘intelligence workshops’ and undergoes a careful and tedious process that leads to an Order of Battle list,” Lacson explained.

“Further, the OB is a classified document and declassifying it follows a defined procedure and timeline, hence the public has no direct or indirect access to it,” he said.

In a televised speech late Saturday, Duterte promised a huge crowd composed mostly of his supporters in Davao City that Filipinos who help him battle crime would be rewarded.

“Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun – you have my support,” Duterte had said. (HANNAH L. TORREGOZA)