Zero drug war deaths? Lacson says it cannot be guaranteed
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said it is hard to guarantee that there would be no deaths in the country’s war against drugs.
Lacson said this is especially so in anti-drug operations where authorities have to also defend themselves if the suspects fight back.
“Halimbawa, nagraid yung operatiba at binabaril sila ng kanilang huhuluhin, hindi maaaring ilag lang ng ilag at hindi gaganti ng putok,” Lacson said in an interview over radio station DZMM.
(For example, authorities conducted a raid and the suspects are shooting them, they cannot just dodge and not shoot back.)
Vice President Leni Robredo, who earlier appointed as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), said that one of her most important considerations in accepting the post is the opportunity to stop the killings of innocent individuals.
Robredo then proposed the creation of a new anti-drug campaign to replace “Oplan Tokhang,” a strategy being implemented by the government in the campaign.
Lacson said he believes Robredo does not necessarily mean “zero killings” as it means a possible increase in casualty rate among members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Asked regarding surveys showing some Filipinos not believing that subjects of raids who died fought back, Lacson said it is a “perception” that does not necessarily equate to reality.
“Perception yun e. Kasi kung anong nababasa kadalasan sa dyaryo, naririnig sa radyo, at napapanuod sa telebisyon, yun ang nabubuong perception. So rightly or wrongly, yun ang nagiging perception. Hindi naman ibig sabihin na porket yun ang naging perception, yun ng katotohanan,” Lacson said.
(That’s perception. What the public usually reads in the newspapers, hears on the radio, and watches on the television, that is the perception that is formed. So rightly or wrongly, that becomes the perception. That does not necessarily mean that is the reality.)
“Pero, of course, sa mga pagdinig na ginawa namin, meron talagang hindi talaga—walang encounter na nangyari,” Lacson added, noting that those proven guilty were legally charged and convicted.
(But, of course, in the hearings we conducted, it was seen that there were indeed no encounters in some instances.)
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