Politicking? Lacson questions PNP official’s ‘Global Coalition’

Politicking? Lacson questions PNP official’s ‘Global Coalition’

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson questioned on Tuesday a supposed
“global coalition” in the Philippine National Police (PNP) that may
potentially be used for partisan politics.

Lacson questioned the purpose of the “Global Coalition of Lingkod
Bayan Advocacy Support Groups and Force Multipliers,” which was
launched on June 25 this year.

“The last time I heard, the PNP is a territorial force. It is supposed
to address internal threats. Why a ‘global coalition’? Bakit kailangan
ng force multiplier na global, e internal threat tayo? Mukhang OFWs
ang target nito,” he asked the PNP during his interpellation of the
Department of Interior and Local Government’s budget for 2022.

“I’ll be blunt… Pampulitika ito ng Community Relations (I’ll be
blunt. This looks like a tool for politicking by the PNP’s community
relations arm),” he added.

A couple of months ago, Lacson said Police Maj. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia,
the then director of the PNP Police Community Relations unit has much
explaining to do on his involvement in activities involving the
gathering of data including email addresses and phone numbers. He
added Sermonia had already been “lambasted” by Foreign Affairs
Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. for campaigning in the 2019 midterm
elections using our embassies’ resources.

Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, questioned in particular
why the PNP would look for force multipliers abroad such as in Dubai,
Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong – when the PNP’s mandate is only to address
internal threats. “What gives?” he asked.

Also, Lacson said he was not convinced with the “assurance” of PNP
chief Guillermo Eleazar that this activity of the PNP to engage with
the public will not be used for political purposes, “the nomenclature
itself suggests otherwise.”

“Naghahanap kayo ng member sa areas na maraming OFWs. How can they
help enhance the anti-criminality campaign of the PNP that is supposed
to address only internal threats? Di ko ma-reconcile (You are looking
for members in areas with many OFWs. How can they help enhance the
anti-criminality campaign of the PNP that is supposed to address
internal threats? I cannot reconcile this),” he said.

Lacson said that if the “global coalition” is indeed not meant to be
used for partisan politics, the “Global Coalition” part of its
nomenclature should be removed.

Lacson questioned as well the use of other government agencies for
partisan politics, including a recent social media attack on him.

He said that when he questioned earlier the propriety of the “Global
Coalition,” he was attacked last Sept. 20 on the official Facebook and
Twitter accounts of the National Task Force to End Communist Armed
Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), particularly the office of Undersecretary
Lorraine Badoy.

The attacks, which were taken down, quoted ex-New People’s Army cadre
Jeffrey Celiz.

” If that is not politicking, I don’t know what is,” he said. (ai/mtvn)

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