Philippine President Benigno Aquino is seriously considering the appointment of an outgoing member of the Senate as the country’s “anti-crime czar,” according to a reliable Malacanang Palace source.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Senator Panfilo Lacson was the frontrunner for the post as chair of the Presidential Anti-Organised Crime Commission (PAOCC) to be vacated by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
Lacson, the source said, is one of two senators along with Francis Pangilinan likely to be tapped by Aquino to join his cabinet when their term expires on June 30, 2013.
Under the 1987 Constitution, Lacson and Pangilinan could no longer run for re-election in the May 2013 polls because they have served for three consecutive terms of three years in the Senate.
“President Aquino has said he would like senators Lacson and Pangilinan to be part of his cabinet and boost his commitment for transparency and good governance,” the source said.
Aquino might appoint Pangilinan, the chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, as the presidential adviser on agriculture which is also a Cabinet-level position, the source said. -By Manolo B. Jara