Cops exhorted on integrity

Panfilo Lacson

FORMER Philippine National Police chief-turned Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ M. Lacson yesterday stressed anew that the solid foundation of the much-maligned police force is integrity which will always be tested by credibility.

Speaking during the 74th PNP Crime Laboratory founding anniversary at Camp Crame, the former PNP chief waxed sentimental when he spoke of his own experience with the Crime Lab.  

“As I always say, if a man is truthful and upright in public but renounces those standards in private he lacks credibility because he has no integrity. A man who cheats himself once is a thousand times worse than the one who cheats a thousand others,” he said.

“Integrity means being consistent in one’s behavior under every circumstance, including those unguarded and tempting moments. Almost two decades ago, I could still remember a former head of this very office who knowingly certified an erroneous handwriting specimen analysis of the once infamous fictitious character named Jose Pidal, who laundered over P200 million in secret accounts,” he added.

Sen. Lacson said “that single act immediately landed him a police regional director assignment in the further south of Metro Manila, and a promotion to star rank. In 2011, he redeemed himself by admitting that the signature specimen he certified to as authentic actually was forged. Clearly, crime pays off. But not without the greatest toll on one’s integrity,” he said.

The veteran lawmaker however said that through the years the PNP Crime Lab underwent massive transformation. “From being a small Fingerprint Section in 1945, you have notably evolved to a technically competent organization comprising eight divisions today, namely: medico-legal, chemistry, physical identification, firearms identification, question document, polygraph, fingerprint identification, and forensic photography,” he told his audience led by PNP Crime Lab director Brigadier General Rolando J. Hinanay.

Lacson congratulated the PNP leadership headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde for already operating the PNP Lab in Davao which has been touted as the ‘Mega-Laboratory of Mindanao’ and the DNA Chemistry Laboratory in Cebu City.