2022 Philippine Elections

Lacson hits Duterte for ‘double standard’ in failed drug war

Rambo Talabong
Lacson hits Duterte for ‘double standard’ in failed drug war

'DOUBLE STANDARD.' Senator Panfilo Lacson, a presidential aspirant, says President Rodrigo Duterte lacks consistency in his anti-drug campaign.

Senate PRIB

'Walang consistency. Kapag kakampi, libre, kapag kalaban, tutuluyan,' says Senator Panfilo Lacson on Rappler Talk

Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson took aim at President Rodrigo Duterte’s flagship program, his five-year-old war on drugs, and said it failed because Duterte employed a double standard.

Lacson, a former police chief, told Rappler the former Davao City mayor lacked consistency.

Kapag kakampi, libre; kapag kalaban, tutuluyan. Hindi ka magsu-succeed kapag double standard ka,” Lacson said in Rappler Talk interview on Wednesday, August 11. (If it’s an ally, they’re free, if it’s an enemy, they go all the way. You will not succeed if you have double standards.)

Asked to provide examples, Lacson pointed to Marvin Marcos, the policeman who figured in the killing of then Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in November 2016. Marcos has since been reappointed to the police, given promotions, and consistently defended by Duterte.

Lacson also pointed to Secretary of Health Francisco Duque III, whom he believes to be failing at his job but continues to hold on to it. The Senate earlier passed a resolution calling for his removal, but Duque was defended by Duterte.

Anong ginawa ng administrasyon? Wala. Sarado ‘yung tenga, sarado ‘yung mata. Kasi malapit, or for some other reason or reasons,” Lacson said. (What did the administration do? Nothing. Closed ears, and closed eyes. It’s because they’re close, or for some other reason or reasons.)

Lacson’s statement is backed by reports documenting policemen involved in controversies getting reassigned and promoted. (READ: Where Philippine cops go unpunished, just recycled)

Officials who have also been sacked by the Duterte administration have since returned to office and have even risen to higher positions. (READ: LIST: No to corruption? Duterte’s controversial reappointees)

This criticism is one of Lacson’s most searing statements against Duterte to date. In running as an “alternative” candidate in 2022, he has been lambasted as “enabling” the Duterte administration.

Lacson defended himself in his interview with Rappler, saying he criticizes and praises when merited. To counter Duterte’s inconsistency, Lacson offered himself as a leader who will rule “by example.”

“If you cannot practice what you preach, forget your leadership,” Lacson said in a mix of English and Filipino,

Lacson is running for president in 2022, along with his prospective vice presidential running mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III. They will make their formal announcement on September 8. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.