Press Release
June 19, 2006


Sen. Panfilo Lacson threw his full support Monday behind the government's all-out war against the 37-year-old communist insurgency, saying it is high time government took serious efforts to end the rebellion and its root causes such as poverty and injustice.

However, Lacson also reminded government that the all-out war against the insurgency should not be exempt from safeguards against corruption and abuse.

"This is one effort that deserves support from peace-loving citizens. Even if the government were to allot P10 billion, I'd support it. It is high time the government showed its iron fist against communist rebels," he said.

But he maintained that even an all-out war is not exempt from safeguards against corruption and abuse, which he said will likely occur if some officials continue to send wrong signals.

He scored in particular Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, who was quoted as saying that the loss of civilian lives in the all-out war may be unavoidable.

"Coming from a Secretary of Justice, that statement gives the military a wrong signal that they will not be liable for the loss of civilian lives because that would be collateral damage. Gonzalez should have cautioned lawmen to be careful against violating human rights instead of sending a signal that such abuses are authorized," he said.

Lacson added that the police and military should limit their combat operations to areas where the insurgency is very active.

Also, he batted for safeguards against possible corruption in the procurement of equipment and other logistics for the all-out war. He stressed that the military in particular should ensure transparency in the bidding process for such items.

"There must be safeguards against possible corruption by the military in procuring equipment. P1 billion is still a very big amount," he said.

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