PING:  PNP STINT SHOWS GOVERNMENT CAN BE REFORMED

MANILA, April 5, 2004
 
(MALAYA)
By JOAN DAIRO - Sen. Panfilo Lacson yesterday said if he was able to reform the PNP when he headed it from 1999 to 2001, there is no reason he cannot whip into line the 1.4 million-strong bureaucracy.

Lacson said while the PNP accounts for only 9 to 10 percent of government employees, it represented "the most problematic institution."

Lacson said his stint proved that strong leadership could bring integrity and discipline back to the PNP.

Lacson said that before he headed the PNP, it was suffering from a -13 percent approval rating. Shortly before he left in 2001, it was enjoying a +58 percent rating.

"Without mental reservation I can tell anybody I succeeded in restoring trust in the police ... I could very well say I succeeded in managing the police. The question is, will it be different if you handle 1.4 million employee?" he said.

Lacson maintained poor and corrupt governance is the root of the country's woes and not some perceived racial defect among the 84 million Filipinos.

"It is government that gives us chaos in the streets, it is government that does not give peace and order, it is government that is responsible for woeful state of infrastructure, it is government that is responsible for all the corruption. I think if we set government right we will succeed in setting this country right," Lacson said.

Lacson said reforms need a no-nonsense leader with a strong political will, one who should lead by example.

"That's why I succeeded as PNP chief. I was not doing what I was telling my men not to do. You cannot tell cops not to 'kotong' when you receive money from gambling lords and illegal activities," he said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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