Lacson backs mega task force vs corruption

Published October 29, 2020, 12:55 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson supports President Duterte’s creation of a mega task force  to confront endemic corruption in government.

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson

 Lacson, however, said the President should have created this task force at the  start of his six-year presidency in 2016 because it takes years to investigate and build up a credible graft case.

He noted that this all-encompassing investigation started on the wrong front because it appeared to have already given exceptions to those it deemed to be innocent.

Lacson said all, including lawmakers, should be included in such a wide net of investigation process.

“Most welcome. Maganda ang move. Ang problema lang, at the outset, mag-create ng mega task force sa to address all corruption, and in the same announcement, meron agad exceptions. Parang ang message doon huwag isama kasi hindi kasali. Doon pa lang, parang it has already started on the wrong foot,’’ he said during a Zoom interview.

(The move is welcome. The problem, at the outset, it created a mega task force to address all corruption and in the same announcement, they are already making exceptions. As if the message is that don’t include those that do not have to be included. As if it started on the wrong foot)

‘’Kasi dapat kung mega task force by the name itself, dapat i-cover lahat including lawmakers, and again that’s most welcome kasi nobody is above the law, pero bakit exempted dito parang effectively without saying it parang sinasabing huwag ninyo isama si Secretary (Francisco) Duque or Secretary Mark Villar. I am not trying to say ang dalawa may kinalaman sa corruption, far from that,’’ he said.

(The mega task force, by the name itself, should cover everybody, including lawmakers, and again that is most welcome because nobody is above the law. But why make exceptions. As if they wanted Secretary Duque and Secretary Villar to be excluded. I am not saying they are tainted with corruption, far from that)

‘’Pero para magkaroon kaagad at the outset meron agad na hindi dapat galawin, paano mag-succeed ang effort to curb corruption?’’ he asked.

(As if there are already persons not to be touched. How will the anti-corruption effort succeed?)

Despite feeling that the Duterte administration is selective in its all-encompassing anti-corruption campaign, Lacson said he has confidence in the ability of Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra being the virtual head of the mega task force.

“Ako mataas naman ang kumpiyansa ko. Because ang nangyari sa PhilHealth we had some regular engagements na talagang hinihingi lahat na records ng investigation na ginawa ng Senate. And ang kanyang inilabas na report by and large nag-conform and more kasi meron silang sariling effort,’’ he added.

(My confidence in Secretary Guevarra is high. Because of our probe and recommendations on the Senate investigation into the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), we had some regular engagements where he asked for the full Senate investigation. The DoJ report it later issued by and large conformed with the Senate report because it has its own internal effort)