Massive internal cleansing seen in first 100 days if Lacson wins presidency

A massive internal cleansing in the government bureaucracy will be implemented in the first 100 days of a Lacson presidency to enhance, not disrupt, public services.

This assurance came from Partido Reporma standard-bearer Sen. Panfilo "Ping" M. Lacson, who stressed Saturday, Jan. 29 that the cleansing would be evidence-based and would follow the rule of law.

"Ang massive internal cleansing, hindi ito indiscriminate. Base ito sa ebidensya na kung saan may mga kawani ng gobyerno na sa halip na tumulong, nakakaperwisyo pa sa pamamagitan ng katiwalian (Such a massive internal cleansing will not be indiscriminate. It will be based on evidence against public servants who engage in corruption and other wrongdoing instead of helping their fellow Filipinos)," Lacson said in a media interview today.

"This is without sacrificing public service (This is without sacrificing public service). Yan ang objective, ma-improve natin ang serbisyo publiko sa pamamagitan ng internal cleansing para madama nila ang serbisyo ng gobyerno (This is the objective, to improve public service through internal cleansing, so people will feel the benefits of services rendered by the government)," he added.

He clarified that the first 100 days is not a self-imposed deadline but a starting point of a sustained cleansing of misfits and corrupt government officials and employees, similar to what he did in the Philippine National Police immediately after he assumed office as its Chief in November 1999.

"Kailangan evidence-based (The cleansing will be evidenced-based). Kung maaari, caught in flagrante delicto (If possible, the culprit should be caught in flagrante delicto)," he added.

Also, Lacson made it clear that while he does not care if the bureaucracy may shrink so long as those who would be left are hardworking and honest.

"I will welcome honest and competent individuals who wish to join the government,’’ he stressed.

Lacson said he would pattern his internal cleansing of the bureaucracy after the reforms he instituted at the Philippine National Police (PNP) when he headed it from 1999 to 2001 that led to the elimination of the ‘’kotong’’ cops (corrupt policemen) as well as the ‘’kotong’’ culture at all levels of command in the police organization.

He reiterated as well that he would lead by example by signing a waiver of his rights under the Bank Secrecy Law in his first day in office - to send the message to the bureaucracy that transparency will be upheld and corruption will not be tolerated.

”Kung magle-lead ka, kailangan meron kang moral ascendancy (If you are to lead, you need to have moral ascendancy)," he said.