Lacson tells PNP: Stop dubious ‘census’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police should now stop all ongoing enlistment activities using funds from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) after these were disowned by the police leadership, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Saturday.
Lacson stood by his statement that the PNP had been conducting a “census” of at least 30 percent of all barangays using NTF-Elcac funds, as the information was supposedly tipped off by the PNP’s own field commanders.
“The PNP’s denial should put a stop to the illegal data gathering activities on 30 percent of the country’s local population,” he said in a tweet.
Lacson, himself a former PNP chief, issued the statement after Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the PNP, denied the senator’s allegations that NTF-Elcac funds were “misused” for the conduct of a census in communities.
Eleazar, however, clarified that what the PNP implemented was an “intensified cleanliness program.”
“We are promoting cooperation and coordination between the PNP and the community to improve our services and work hand in hand with members of the community for our antidrug and anticriminality efforts, as well as protecting the community, especially the youth from being recruited by communist fronts,” Eleazar said.
With Eleazar’s “categorical and vehement” denial, the ongoing census should now stop, Lacson said, chair of the Senate committee on national defense and security.
Lacson earlier alleged that a police general, whom he did not identify, had issued orders for chiefs of police nationwide to gather a census of at least 30 percent of its residents, with their names, address and contact numbers.
Lacson expressed belief that the PNP census was to be used for “election purposes.”
“As the Senate’s principal sponsor of the NTF-Elcac budget, I cannot simply disregard a pattern of such reports coming from their own field commanders,” he said.
Lacson said the PNP would be made to explain its use of the funds when the Senate scrutinizes NTF-Elcac’s proposed P40-billion budget for 2022.
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