PNP denial should stop 'illegal' police census — Lacson

Published August 7, 2021, 2:35 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Saturday, August 7, stood by his claim that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is engaged in “illegal” data gathering activities using the government’s anti-insurgency funds, saying he cannot just disregard reports from field officers themselves.

Senator Panfilo Lacson (Czar Dancel/MANILA BULLETIN File Photo)

In a tweet, Lacson said the denial of the PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar should prompt the end of the reported census.

“The PNP’s denial should put a stop to the illegal data gathering activities on 30 percent of the country’s local population,” said the senator, who headed the PNP himself from 1999 to 2001.

“As the Senate’s principal sponsor of the NTF-ELCAC budget, I cannot simply disregard a pattern of such reports coming from their own field commanders,” he added.

Lacson earlier alleged that a police general has been directing his subordinates to list down names and contact numbers of at least 30 percent of the residents of each barangay.

The PNP was supposedly using part of its P800-million allocation in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for the census, the senator claimed.

Eleazar on Friday, August 6, “categorically and vehemently” denied that the PNP leadership issued such an order. He also welcomed investigations to disprove Lacson’s allegation.

But Lacson maintained that if there is a clear “misuse” of the NTF-ELCAC’s funds, he will join Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon’s call to scrap the P40-billion proposed appropriations for the task force under the 2022 national budget.

“I will even request the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct a motu propio investigation,” he vowed.