Lacson eyes presidency in 2016

Jessa Mardy N. Polonio
Lacson eyes presidency in 2016
He is doing the rounds 'to get the pulse of the masses,' and will campaign on an anti-corruption and anti-crime platform

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Six months into the filing of candidacies, former Senator Panfilo Lacson announced here on Friday, April 24, that he is “positively contemplating” to run for president in 2016. 

Currently making the rounds of rural areas “to get the pulse of the masses,” Lacson said his campaign would be strong on eradicating graft and corruption in the government, and on restoring peace and order.

His supporters recently launched an advertisement hinting at his presidential bid. The video has been circulating on social media. 

He had the same platform in 2004, when he first ran for president. He lost to then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and actor Fernando Poe Jr, but got strong support from the country’s small middle class.

He said eradicating corruption in government will help lift the country out of poverty, which is a result of insufficient or zero services from a bankrupt government. 

He recalled that when he was the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), reforms were strictly implemented, leading to a better image and higher morale in the police force. Lacson served as national police chief before being elected senator in 2001.

“We eradicated patronage politics in the PNP and officials were appointed based on their competence and credibility,” Lacson said.

If he becomes president, Lacson said, he would have secluded detention facility built on Caballo Island off Corregidor for government officials facing trial for graft and corruption. This facility will have its own clinic, so officials under trial won’t have any excuse to petition for hospital arrests.

Lacson will also push for the restoration of the death penalty when he becomes president. Citing the case of Leo Echagaray – convicted of raping his daughter and was given the lethal injection in 1999 – Lacson said the death penalty could be a deterrent to heinous crimes. He said it would raise the awareness of rape victims that justice is possible.

“The death penalty served as a protection of the people against crime,” Lacson said.

He said he will remain an independent candidate once he files his certificate of candidacy. He also ran as independent in 2004, without a vice presidential candidate and with only one senatorial bet.

Lacson considers Senator Grace Poe his stiffest competitor for the presidency. She is the daughter of actor Poe, against whom Lacson ran in 2004. – 

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