Lawmaker to gov’t: Tap Lacson as anti-crime czar

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Friday, September 5, 2014

AN OPPOSITION lawmaker has urged the Aquino administration to immediately consider tapping former senator Panfilo Lacson to head an anti-organized crime task force to stop the resurgence of kidnapping activities and other crimes in the country.

Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano III said the appointment of Lacson will surely boost the campaign of the government against organized crime with his experienced being a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and head of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) during the Estrada administration.

"Rehabilitation czar, former senator and PNP chief and anti-crime czar Ping Lacson is the best and competent man to head the anti-kidnapping task force because of track record in combating organized crime syndicates," Albano said.

The lawmaker said that during Lacson's stint as PAOCTF and PNP chief, successfully smashed various criminal syndicates, especially those engaged in kidnap for ransom activities.

Albano expressed his concern after the number of kidnapping incidents has increased in recent years.

"[Based on the data received by the] House committee on public order and safety, [it] said kidnappings had dropped from a high of 113 in 2009 to only 41 in 2012, but again rose to 46 cases in 2013," Albano said.

He also cited and independent report released by the Movement for Restoration and Peace and Order (MRPO), in which he expressed alarm over the resurgence of renewed and increasing kidnap for ransom crimes.

According to anti-kidnap for ransom advocate Teresita Ang-See, founding chair of the MRPO, there were 33 cases of kidnap-for-ransom cases involving 50 victims recorded this year, Albano said.

Ang See said of the 33 cases, 17 victims are Filipino-Chinese.

The lawmaker from Isabela said explained that given this alarming situation, the Aquino government should take the necessary step to address the problem.

He said that government in the past had been able to crush kidnap for ransom syndicates by creating a anti-kidnapping task force.

"The Aquino government through the PNP-DILG, DOJ-NBI and the AFP can nip in the bud the resurgence of kidnap for ransom activities if it puts its heart and mind to eliminating this despicable criminal scourge," Albano said.

Albano said the kidnapping syndicates should be smashed immediately by the Aquino government through a task force to be headed by Lacson to calm down the public, especially the Filipino Chinese community, as this would adversely affect the country's economic and investment conditions. (Sunnex)

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