Lacson-Sotto tandem to gov't officials: Lose sense of entitlement; 'wang wang' mentality

Published December 2, 2021, 4:13 PM

by Ben Rosario

The sense of entitlement many government officials feel even for common things like using restricted roads during heavy traffic will be gone under a government run by Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Vicente “Tito” Sotto, presidential and vice presidential aspirants for the 2022 elections.

Lacson-Sotto bintana

The two legislators said government personnel and officials should be sensitive to public welfare, adding that the so-called “wang-wang’ mentality should no longer be revived.

Lacson and Sotto aired these views in reaction to reports that many politicians and government executives have been using the dedicated bus lanes spanning several localities in Metro Manila.

Worse some of them use “wang wang” or sirens and are sometimes escorted by motorcycle policemen as they rush to their meetings.

“Unang-una, ‘yung abuso dapat iwasan e, kasi ‘yung entitlement… Alam mo, ‘yung feeling of entitlement dapat ‘yon wala e. (First off, abuses should be avoided, because the entitlement… you know, that feeling of entitlement should not be there),” said Lacson, standard bearer of the Partido Reporma.

“Pare-pareho, mapa-government vehicle ka o kaya nagmamadali ka, dapat ‘pag sinabing bus lane, bus lane; o kaya mga ambulance lane, ‘yun lang. Huwag na tayo makihalo doon kasi makakagulo tayo. (Whether you are on a government vehicle or just in a y, we should all be the same, if it’s a bus lane, it should be a bus lane, or if it is an ambulance lane, it should be it. Let’s not get mixed into areas where we will cause congestion,” Lacson told the weekly “Meet the Press” on Thursday, Dec . 2.

Lacson repeated his vow to remove the so-called “kotong” (bribe-hunting) cops—who are again preying on motorists with the return of traffic in the National Capital Region—once he is elected President after the May 2022 polls, noting that he already did so during his stint as Philippine National Police chief and is unafraid to do so again.

“Kaya. Kaya… Kasi kinaya ‘nung Chief PNP ako e, nawala talaga ‘yung kotong sa kalsada, at ngayon hindi lang kotong sa kalsada ‘yung mawawala. ‘Pag kaming dalawa ni Senate President (Sotto) ang nabigyan ng pagkakataon, ‘yung kotong sa buong gobyerno mawawala. Ang key lang naman diyan, dapat isa lang ang standard mo, hindi pwedeng merong exempted. (We can… because we did it when I was Chief PNP, we really got rid of ‘kotong’ on the streets, but now we will not just get rid of ‘kotong’ in the streets. If the two of us, the Senate President and I, are given a chance (to be elected), the ‘kotong’ in the whole government will be gone. The key to it is there should only be one standard, no one should be exempted.), said Lacson.

On the other hand, Sotto recalled a time when he was driven by his wife’s driver, who then made an illegal turn in Greenhills, San Juan notwithstanding his warnings against it.

Later, traffic officers flagged down the Senate officials vehicle but appeared to be hesitant to issue a violation ticket to the driver. Sotto told them to confiscate the driver’s license.

Sotto usually drivers his own car every day to work.

According to Article 11 of the Constitution, senators are immune from traffic violations performed in the course of their duties.

“Never ako dumaan sa bus lane dahil nga alam kong bawal e. So, itong mga driver ng mga sikat, ‘yung mga pulitiko or mga Cabinet official na dumadaan doon, hulihin ninyo. Dapat ‘yung PNP o ‘yung mga traffic management bureau, hulihin niyo. ,[I’ve never used a bus lane because I know it’s forbidden. So these drivers who are showing off, those politicians or Cabinet officials that pass there, catch them. The PNP or the traffic management bureau people should apprehend them.),” said Sotto.

On the “wang-wang” issue, Lacson said he only employed escorts when, as national police chief, he was suddenly summoned by then-President Joseph Estrada to a meeting in Malacanang from his office in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Otherwise, he forbade his PNP regional commanders and subordinates from clearing the roads for him, even on his trips in the provinces.