In hindsight, the administration’s decision to make public its narcotics watch list was “ill advised” and “dangerous,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Tuesday, which is why proper intelligence operations should guide the next steps in the war against illegal drugs.
While intelligence experts most likely verified President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called “narcolist,” it should have been used only as a guide to build cases against potential suspects, Lacson said on ANC’s “Beyond Politics.”
Instead, the administration announced some names and let the public know that such a list existed.
“Paano mo mahuhuli (ang mga suspek) kung conscious na siyang binabantayan na siya? It’s out in the open. Mas mahirap mag-build ng kaso kung na-warn na ang tao,” the former police chief said.
(How will you catch the suspects if they know they are being watched? It’s harder to build a case if the person has been warned.)
He believes that the next level of the government’s war against illegal drugs should be intelligence-based and with less theatrics. It should be more targeted, too, and should involve key people who will be in charge of building a good case.
“Without good intelligence, para kang naka-blindfold na suntok ng suntok. Bahala na kung sino tamaan,” he said.
(Without good intelligence, it’s like you’re punching blindfolded. You’re throwing punches without knowing who you're hitting.)
Information is key even in the police’s internal cleansing, Lacson said, as it can help them identify “who could have committed shenanigans.”
Earlier, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Roland “Bato” dela Rosa said that while he is gearing up for the cleansing of the police force, he needs to do some “soul searching” himself.
“I must acknowledge that I myself need internal cleansing. So before ako mag-cleanse sa buong organization, dapat na na-cleanse na muna sarili ko,” he said in an interview with media.
Dela Rosa reiterated that police anti-drug operations were halted not because the campaign was a failure, but to purge crooked officers from the ranks.
“Maraming sumasakay sa ating kampanya na para sa kanilang pansariling agenda. Sila pa mismo gumagawa ng krimen kaya kailangang stop muna din,” he said.
(Many are taking advantage of this campaign to further their own agenda. They are the ones committing crimes, so we should stop.)