PNP should profile expelled cops and soldiers, not teachers – Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Instead of teachers, expelled police and soldiers who have become guns for hire should be the focus of the Philippine National Police’s profiling and surveillance efforts.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, said this on Tuesday, January 8, following the agency’s "profiling" of members of the left-leaning group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).

"The PNP should instead conduct profiling and surveillance on dishonorably discharged PNP and AFP personnel to keep track of their post-discharge activities including their lifestyle,” Lacson said in a statement.

The senator said the police – in focusing on these "rejects” that are likely skilled with firearms and other weapons – “may be able to solve a lot of crimes, even preempt them."

Lacson cited reports that the killers of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe included dismissed Army sergeants, who are allegedly part of a politician’s private army.

He also cited reports that former cops were among the armed bodyguards of Guimbal Mayor Oscar Garin and his son Representative Richard Garin, who mauled a policeman last month.

"I intend to raise this point when the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs investigates recent cases of killings with impunity," said Lacson, the committee chairman.

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde had sacked cops involved in what he said was a “leaked” internal memo.

Despite this, the top cop said the PNP’s actions were legal and should not be taken as a threat to teachers’ freedom to organize. (READ: Teachers to PNP, DepEd: We're not terrorists)

The Department of Education earlier said it would seek a dialogue with the Department of the Interior and Local Government on the matter. DepEd also ordered its Manila schools division to recall a memo it issued to school heads echoing police orders to identify teachers aligned with ACT. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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