Lacson, Pangilinan caution PNP vs Alsa Masa revival
Two senators on Monday warned of a possible “serious” peace and order problem and “rampant atrocities and abuse” in the country if the planned revival of an “Alsa Masa-like” network pushes through.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is reportedly planning to expand the Community Mobilization Project (CMP) into an Alsa Masa-like network to help combat crimes in the country.
But Senator Panfilo Lacson, former police chief, and opposition Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan quickly cautioned the PNP against its plan.
“It could be a very dangerous move especially if it spins out of control,” Lacson said in a text message.
“Going by what transpired in the past – using that same tactic against the insurgents in Davao City and elsewhere in northern Mindanao where the Kuratong Baleleng of Octavio Parojinog was utilized by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), bordering even on vigilantism.
“Without a well-planned, and structured exit program, it resulted on their choice of crime as the next career,” he pointed out.
If the PNP would adopt the same method without seriously considering the lessons of the past, then Lacson said the country “could face a serious peace and order problem.”
For his part, Pangilinan urged the PNP to “seriously reconsider” its plan of reviving Alsa Masa as it might be a “recipe for rampant atrocities and abuse.”
“Alsa Masa in the 1980s became notorious for rampant violations of human rights, widespread atrocities and abuse all in the name of anti-communism and law and order,” he said in a separate text message.
“I am afraid it is giving the corrupt and abusive policemen more teeth to rape, to kill and to commit crime against unarmed citizens. Reviving it may in fact be a recipe for rampant atrocities and abuse.
“The PNP should seriously reconsider this approach,” added Pangilnan, who is also president of the Liberal Party.
Alsa Masa was the civilian force group formed in Davao City in the 1980s to beef up community support in the fight against crime, especially illegal drugs. /je
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