President Rodrigo Duterte’s assurance of legal protection for police personnel who kill criminals in the line of duty will be a much-needed motivation for law enforcers to do their jobs well and without hesitation, said Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
“There couldn’t be any more reassuring commitment than one coming from the commander-in-chief himself,” said Lacson who served as chief of the PNP from 1999 to 2001.
“That’s exactly what is needed to motivate our policemen to perform their duties without hesitation,” he added.
He stressed that the assurance of legal support will mean much to law enforcers who risk their lives daily to protect the public.
“Without ample legal assistance from the government, they suffer a massive drain in their personal resources for their legal fees,” he said.
However, Lacson said Duterte and the PNP must make sure such an assurance for legal protection will not be twisted to allow abuses.
He related many police personnel who tend to be tentative in confrontations with armed criminals for fear of being charged for harassment. And that resulting moment of hesitation beaome deadly for many of them.
“We’ve lost lives among the ranks of our police officers in the face of armed malefactors because they became tentative and did not react in time, still thinking of possible harassment charges they might face,” he said.
“I should know and I can speak from personal experience. I had faced too many trumped-up, harassment charges myself during my law enforcement days,” Lacson said.
“Many retired policemen, I’m sure, wish they had served under a commander-in-chief like President Duterte,” Lason added.
In calling out policemen to do their duty, Duterte vowed to afford legal protection for them while performing their duty.
“Do your duty and, if in the process, you kill 1,000 persons because you were doing your duty, I will protect you,” said Duterte.
Speaking during the assumption of command ceremony for new Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Duterte promised he will always protect police officials who are doing good in their jobs.
He also renewed his promise to raise the salaries of police officers but said they must do their jobs about ridding the country of crime in 3 to 6 months.
However, he told them not to involve themselves in any illegal activity and to avoid being in the company of known criminals, including drug lords.
“I know how you handle your work and I also know how good you are. But I also know sometimes you can become a bad boy in the organization. So beginning from now, I will tolerate zero tolerance for abuses committed by the law enforcement agencies including the National Bureau of Investigation,” he said. (SWCA)