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The real Ping Lacson

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Senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal, who’s running under the administration ticket, suggests that Sen. Ping Lacson help the Bureau of Customs go after oil smugglers.

Lacson’s term ends in June, or two months from now.

Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon admits they lack personnel in stepping up the drive against the smuggling of petroleum products.

“I think we should have a separate agency that should concentrate on oil smuggling. That’s quite a task… Commissioner [Ruffy] Biazon is doing a good job, but I think we should have one agency that should really look into oil smuggling only,” Madrigal told reporters following a campaign sortie by the administration coalition in the provinces.

“Ping Lacson is a good choice for a separate agency against a specific area where smuggling is very rampant,” she added.

Madrigal, a former senator, may be right about Biazon “doing a good job.”

But she doesn’t know Ping Lacson’s kind of leadership when he was chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

*   *   *

Let me tell Madrigal why Lacson should not be given a position that requires handling law enforcement.

Then Director General Lacson created a mini-PNP within the PNP and called it the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOC-TF).

PAOC-TF, a parallel agency that duplicated the functions of the PNP, was composed of Lacson’s favorite officers and men.

Personnel of the PAOC-TF, which Lacson himself headed, were so abusive and arrogant they incurred the ire of other PNP officers and men.

Ask anybody in the PNP who was not a member of the PAOC-TF then, and he would confirm what I’m saying.

A regional director of the PAOC-TF, with the rank of, say, chief inspector (the equivalent of a major in the Army), did not defer to the PNP regional director, who was the chief superintendent (brigadier general, in the military), where the subordinate officer was assigned.

PAOC-TF regional directors considered themselves as co-equals of PNP regional directors because they only reported directly to Lacson.

Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino, then Lacson’s fair-haired boy, didn’t salute police generals even if he had the rank equivalent only to a colonel in the military because he was only answerable to Lacson, his boss.

Lacson’s way of playing favorites demoralized the PNP and made fellow officers hate him so much.

He was so hated by non-PAOC-TF members that at the height of the Edsa 2 revolution that resulted in the resignation of President Erap, a group of officers plotted to kill him in Camp Crame.

I know the officer who volunteered to shoot Lacson in the head at the height of the Edsa 2 people power uprising.

Then PNP Deputy Director General Larry Mendoza, Lacson’s upperclassman at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), prevented Lacson’s assassination.

*   *   *

I don’t blame President Noy, who will appoint Lacson to a Cabinet post once his term expires, because they were together in the Senate.

If P-Noy knew the real Ping Lacson, he wouldn’t think of taking Lacson into his confidence.

Lacson seems to be the type who bites the hand that feeds him.

When he was PNP chief during the Erap administration he didn’t respect his commander-in-chief.

He disobeyed orders from Erap and had the temerity to quarrel with his president.

There’s no telling that Lacson might do to P-Noy what he did to Erap, who nurtured him like a father would a son.

P-Noy should have heard alarm bells ringing when Lacson defended the policemen who were involved in the Atimonan massacre just because some of them were his men at the PAOC-TF.


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