PNP to get Lacson report on alleged poll sabotage, saying no threat as of now
MANILA, Philippines — Despite not monitoring any threats to the 2022 general elections, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos has assured the public that the police would look into the claims of Senator Panfilo Lacson that there are plans to sabotage the May elections.
Carlos said during Monday’s press conference that PNP Director for Operations Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, who is part of the Special Task Force (STF) for the 2022 national and local elections, has not monitored any threat like what Lacson mentioned in a separate briefing on Sunday.
“Well we’ll get it, the details from Senator Lacson para matignan namin. So far, I have — si ano, si (Maj. Gen.) Val de Leon is monitoring for the election, wala naman tayong major reports of gano’n eh. So we will get it from Senator Ping Lacson,” he told reporters.
Lacson said during their briefing on Sunday that they received reports about voters being subverted on election day itself. However, he refrained from sharing details of the information as the reports are not yet validated.
“Sinu-subvert na ba natin ‘yung will ng mga electorate, ng mga tao, maski wala pang halalan? ‘Yung it’s bad enough na merong mga lumalabas na balita na baka ‘yung mismong eleksyon, on election day, baka merong mga sinister attempt na parang i-subvert ‘yung will of the people,” the senator, who was a previous PNP chief himself, said.
“We’re still validating all these intelligence reports, ano, kasi hindi naman pwedeng agad-agad i-share sa public kung hindi validated. We’re very careful along this line. We’re still working on it to validate but there are numerous reports, actually, pointing to this subversion or subverting the will of the people,” he added.
But aside from that, Carlos also vowed to look into claims that Vice President Leni Robredo allegedly said that there would be chaos if she loses in the presidential race, noting that they can confirm if she actually made such a statement.
The allegations against Robredo came after a reporter sought the reaction of Lacson and other fellow presidential candidates about the supposed chaos that would ensue if she loses.
“Did she (categorically) make that statement? Sinabi niya? Sinabi ni Ma’am VP?” Carlos asked when inquired about the alleged claims of Robredo. “We will look into it, we can get it also, we can get and look.”
The PNP chief allayed fears that the elections can be affected by factors like these, saying that the PNP has been preparing — and is prepared — to handle these threats.
“Sa amin kasi, we don’t see anything that would hamper or derail the elections up to May 9, ‘di ba? Pagdating ng May 9, Mr. Carlos ako eh, I always look at what the STF (Special Task Force) is preparing for, kaya ako laging ‘Val ano ba, Divines ano ba?”’ he asked.
“And today, I already told TCDS (The Chief of the Directorial Staff), si Lt. Gen. Vic Danao, ‘Vic, be ready to take over because you will be the new STF commander. So pinapa-involve ko na agad si (Lt. Gen. Danao). How many, three weeks to go? Monitoring, supervision, direction, making sure na ‘yong mga magbabago in the next three weeks we are ready for it,” he added.
During the press briefing on Sunday, Lacson, along with presidential candidates Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, stood firm against calls for them to withdraw, allegedly made by Robredo’s camp.
After this, Moreno and Lacson took turns in criticizing the Vice President, who is also seeking the highest office of the land. Moreno said that Robredo should withdraw, while Lacson claimed that Robredo’s move to leave her running mate behind in some sorties already showed her character.
Recent surveys depict Robredo as the top two presidential candidate, behind frontrunner and former senator Bongbong Marcos. However, Moreno said that he has evidence to show that the surveys have been “polluted,” while Lacson said that Marcos may be getting a huge support because people just do not like Robredo.