Nowadays, corruption is that one irremovable wrinkle on a nation’s polo shirt – that one inevitable flaw of a nation’s government. Philippine Senator Panfilo Lacson emphasized this idea in his statement released on Wednesday exposing more cases of corruption in the country. The Senator, still in hiding despite the dismissal of the Dacer-Corbito murder case in which his name was involved, said that a massive sleaze similar to that in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) exists in the Philippine National Police (PNP).
GMA News reports that Lacson said that upon the exclusive disposal of a PNP chief, a P40-million “commander’s reserve” is provided. He held this position from November 1999 to January 2001. He also said that while in position, he received a monthly gas allowance enough to supply 50 vehicles at the time and that he was allowed a high credit limit that he could use for both personal and official expenditures. However, Lacson said that he “was never interested” in those extravagant incentives. He even denied having accepted the huge money offered to retiring officers of the PNP.
“Instead of enjoying these ‘perks,’ I focused on getting rid of the police ranks of the ICU’s (inept, corrupt and undisciplined police officers) and providing a no-nonsense law enforcement service to our people,” the senator said.
Was he telling the truth or not? If he was, then why is he still hiding? Or more appropriately, why did he create this expose while he is hiding? Was he afraid of something? In this context, Lacson can surely not evade suspicions regarding his statements. After all, his name is already tarnished. He was dubbed as the mastermind behind the Dacer-Corbito murder in late 2000, which is a definite stain on his white shirt. Yet last year, the murder case was dismissed and his name was dashed off the board, leaving him no reason to continue hiding at all. Still, he chooses to.
Or maybe, his ongoing escape is part of his plan to bare more cases of corruption in the Philippines. It is certainly easier to criticize someone while you are not looking in their eyes. If Lacson did this after he stopped hiding, he would be “looking into the eyes” of the government, and surely, he will get into trouble, for the Philippine government has “dirty eyes.” So thankfully, Lacson revealed these controversies while being publicly absent, for it would have cost him his money, his power, or even his life.
Lacson, ultimately urged President Benigno Aquino III to commence investigations in the military while the issue is still fresh.”I call on President Benigno Aquino III to seize this unusual opportunity of his time,” he said. “[Show us] an extensive accounting of how the taxpayers’ money is being spent.”
And hopefully, the president would start while the iron is hot.