Presidential Adviser on Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Panfilo M. Lacson answers questions from the media in an interview after he delivered his address at a forum in Makati City last January 23. The former senator had refused to accept his pork barrel funds from the start. He said in a privilege speech that the funds had corrupted legislators. Now, even the members of the media are being named as those who received “payolas.” (MNS photo)

Presidential Adviser on Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Panfilo M. Lacson answers questions from the media in an interview after he delivered his address at a forum in Makati City last January 23. The former senator had refused to accept his pork barrel funds from the start. He said in a privilege speech that the funds had corrupted legislators. Now, even the members of the media are being named as those who received “payolas.” (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Outgoing rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson on Monday urged the Philippine National Police to seriously take the challenge of cleaning their own ranks to regain the trust of the people, a television report said Monday.

Lacson, who served as PNP chief from November 1999 to January 2001, warned the police organization that crime incidents will rise if the credibility of the PNP will not be restored.

The former senator issued the challenge during the PNP’s Ethics Day and flag raising ceremony in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

“It is a good opportunity for the OIC (officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina). He has a fresh mandate, a fresh start. Ang importante ay leadership by example,” Lacson told reporters after his speech.

He said police officers should not be involved in extortion, case fixing, and other irregularities.

Lacson was known for his no non-sense leadership during his stint at the PNP.

On the other hand, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said the image of the PNP could be repaired through the more responsible conduct of police officers.

Mahalagang maayos ang imahe ng PNP through performance,” he said.

No less than PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima was ordered suspended by the Ombudsman for six months over the supposed anomalous contract the PNP entered into with a courier service in 2011.

Purisima is also currently under fire for his sprawling resthouse in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, and the allegedly questionable renovation of the PNP chief’s official quarters inside Camp Crame.

Lacson earlier said Purisima should resign from the top PNP post and spare President Benigno Aquino III from the controversy. The President, however, defended Purisima, even saying he has known the PNP chief as “ a man of good character.” (MNS)