Lacson questions, slams wiretapped narco list data
MANILA, Philippines – Is the administration admitting to be complicit in the commission of a crime by foreign governments?
Senator Panfilo Lacson raised this question on Wednesday, following a Palace official’s disclosure that the information on political personalities in the so-called narco list were sourced from wiretapped communications provided by foreign governments.
“Is it now a government policy to condone invasion of privacy of its own nationals by China, Israel, and the United States?” Lacson, who previously headed the Philippine National Police, further asked in a statement.
In a television interview on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo claimed that foreign governments supplied the wiretapped information against certain personalities allegedly linked to the illegal drugs trade.
“Ang mga nagpo-provide sa atin mga… sa ibang bansa eh. Ang magagaling diyan Israel, magaling diyan America, Russia, China. In other words, they provide us with the information. Kung tayo lang, eh wala, kopong-kopong pa yata iyong mga instrumento natin eh,” Panelo said.
(Other countries provided us (information). Israel, American China, Russia are good at this. Our instruments are antiquated.)
“All countries help each other in fighting terrorism and criminality. Siguro in the course of this cooperation, nagbibigay sila ng impormasyon,” he added.
But Panelo’s statement did not sit well with Lacson.
“Malacañang’s claim that the narco list information is based on wiretaps done by foreign governments doesn’t make things right – unless those who conducted the wiretap were armed with judicial authorization in which case, the proceeds should have been used as evidence in court as it has strong probative and evidentiary value to prosecute the personalities involved,” he said.
“On the other hand, if the wiretap was done illegally, it is nothing but the fruit of a poisonous tree,” Lacson further said.
Panelo said President Rodrgo Duterte has agreed to release the narco list before the May 2019 elections, despite opposition raised by some sectors and lawmakers, including Lacson. /gsg
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