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A no-nonsense public servant for more than 40 years, SENATOR PANFILO “PING” MORENA LACSON has been circumspect in matters of public interest and committed against various forms of corruption and wrongdoing, in line with his personal credo: “Ang tama, ipaglaban. Ang mali, labanan. (What is right must be kept right. What is wrong must be set right).”

Lacson first earned a tough, no-nonsense reputation while serving in the Philippine National Police: solving high-profile crimes including kidnap-for-ransom cases in the 1980s and 1990s; and reviving the PNP’s glory days as Chief, PNP from 1999 to 2001.

In the Senate, Lacson is an untiring, tenacious watchdog of the national budget, making sure dubious congressional insertions (a.k.a. pork barrel) and useless appropriations are checked and deleted during plenary debates. More about Senator Lacson here.

This website has official photos, videos, speeches and statements of Senator Lacson. The #PingBills section contains his bills, resolutions and committee reports in the 18th Congress. The #Usaping Katotohanan section seeks to correct misimpressions about Sen. Lacson and his advocacies.

Tanong ni Ping: Sobrang Taas na Presyo ng DOH sa Sinovac Vaccines, Sino Nagdikta?

Sino kaya ang nagdikta sa Department of Health (DOH) kaya mataas ang presyo ng Sinovac vaccines na dati nitong binanggit?

Tinanong ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson matapos na nagsabing “not totally acceptable” ang paliwanag ni DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III na hinanap niya lang sa Google ang presyo ng nabanggit na bakuna.

“Unverified reports that some shenanigans working behind the scene might have fed the DOH the unreasonably high price of the Sinovac vaccine could lend credence to the attempt to dupe the Filipino taxpayers even during a pandemic,” pagbubunyag ng mambabatas.

Lumalabas kasi na masyadong malayo ang isiniwalat na presyo na isiniwalat ng DOH kumpara sa mga report na naglalabasan.

“As early as Oct. 14, 2020, it was reported that the price of Sinovac vaccines in Indonesia was about P683. There is also a price range of P650 to P700 per dose that was relayed to us. This is quite far from the P3,629.50 submitted by the DOH to the Senate finance committee in December last year for the 2021 budget deliberations,” nagtatakang pahayag ng senador.

Related: Lacson: Who Fed DOH Unreasonable High Price of Sinovac Vaccines?
Continue reading “Tanong ni Ping: Sobrang Taas na Presyo ng DOH sa Sinovac Vaccines, Sino Nagdikta?”

Lacson: Who Fed DOH Unreasonable High Price of Sinovac Vaccines?

Who fed the Department of Health the unreasonable prices of Sinovac vaccines in the Philippines?

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson asked this Monday as he deemed not totally acceptable the explanation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that they “Googled” the price of Sinovac vaccines.

“Unverified reports that some shenanigans working behind the scene might have fed the DOH the unreasonably high price of the Sinovac vaccine could lend credence to the attempt to dupe the Filipino taxpayers even during a pandemic,” he said.

“As early as Oct. 14, 2020, it was reported that the price of Sinovac vaccines in Indonesia was about P683. There is also a price range of P650 to P700 per dose that was relayed to us. This is quite far from the P3,629.50 submitted by the DOH to the Senate finance committee in December last year for the 2021 budget deliberations,” Lacson added.

Related: Tanong ni Ping: Sobrang Taas na Presyo ng DOH sa Sinovac Vaccines, Sino Nagdikta?
Continue reading “Lacson: Who Fed DOH Unreasonable High Price of Sinovac Vaccines?”

Ping: Pagpapawalambisa sa UP-DND Accord, Puwede Ipagpaliban

May mga pangyayari na puwedeng pagbatayan para ipagpaliban muna ang pagpapawalambisa sa 1989 UP-DND Accord.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, ang listahan ng mga estudyante ng University of the Philippines na diumano’y naging miyembro ng New People’s Army (NPA) at napatay sa pakikipagsagupaan sa militar ay isa sa mga pangyayaring dapat na tingnan.

“I think it is prudent now for Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to at least suspend the termination of the UP-DND accord and hold a dialogue as he already mentioned he would do,” paliwanag ni Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, sa panayam ng CNN Philippines.

Ayon sa mambabatas, lumalabas na base sa maling impormasyon ang naging basehan ng DND para i-terminate ang kasunduan, dahil ang mga nasa listahan nila na diumano’y nahuli o napatay ay buhay at malaya pa pala.

“They based their decision to terminate the UP-DND accord, signed way back, on what appears now to be false information. They included personalities that they said were captured or killed in action by the military, but turned out to be alive and not captured at all,” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Prudent to Suspend UP-DND Accord Termination
Continue reading “Ping: Pagpapawalambisa sa UP-DND Accord, Puwede Ipagpaliban”

Lacson: Prudent to Suspend UP-DND Accord Termination

Recent developments involving decisions based on “false” information may merit at least a suspension of the Department of National Defense’s decision to end its agreement with the University of the Philippines, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.

Lacson said this after DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana apologized for an “unpardonable gaffe” involving the military’s list of UP students supposedly recruited by the New People’s Army and killed or captured in clashes.

“I think it is prudent now for Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to at least suspend the termination of the UP-DND accord and hold a dialogue as he already mentioned he would do,” Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

“They based their decision to terminate the UP-DND accord, signed way back, on what appears now to be false information. They included personalities that they said were captured or killed in action by the military, but turned out to be alive and not captured at all,” he added.

Related: Ping: Pagpapawalambisa sa UP-DND Accord, Puwede Ipagpaliban
Continue reading “Lacson: Prudent to Suspend UP-DND Accord Termination”

Ping: Kung May EUA sa Pinagmula, Donasyong Bakuna Padaliin ang Pagpasok sa Bansa

Huwag nang gawing kumplikado ang puwede namang maging simple.

Ito ang panawagan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa mga awtoridad kaugnay sa pagpasok sa bansa ng mga donasyon na COVID-19 vaccines na mayroon nang Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) sa mga lugar na may mahigpit na regulatory agencies.

Ang panawagan ay ginawa ng mambabatas sa pangatlong pagdinig na isinagawa ng Senado bilang Committee of the Whole tungkol sa vaccination program ng pamahalaan.

“This is critical because there are many associations abroad that may donate vaccines to their sister cities in the Philippines. Would it not be more practical to ensure the goods reach the intended recipients directly under strict supervision and guidance by health authorities, instead of coursing the goods through the Department of Health and having the DOH distribute them?” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Simplify Procedures for Entry of Donated Vaccines
Continue reading “Ping: Kung May EUA sa Pinagmula, Donasyong Bakuna Padaliin ang Pagpasok sa Bansa”

Lacson: Simplify Procedures for Entry of Donated Vaccines

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson sought simplified procedures Friday for the entry of donated COVID-19 vaccines, especially those with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from countries or territories with stringent regulatory agencies.

Lacson made the call during the third hearing of the Senate, convening as a Committee of the Whole, on the government’s vaccination program.

“This is critical because there are many associations abroad that may donate vaccines to their sister cities in the Philippines. Would it not be more practical to ensure the goods reach the intended recipients directly under strict supervision and guidance by health authorities, instead of coursing the goods through the Department of Health and having the DOH distribute them?” he said.

“Besides, many local government units like Baguio City already have their own cold storage facilities for the vaccines, as their local leaders had the foresight to act accordingly. Allowing such donated vaccines to go directly to the LGUs instead of having to go through the logistical requirements of the DOH and Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 would also avoid the prospect of double handling and additional costs,” he added.

Related: Ping: Kung May EUA sa Pinagmula, Donasyong Bakuna Padaliin ang Pagpasok sa Bansa
Continue reading “Lacson: Simplify Procedures for Entry of Donated Vaccines”

On the Meeting with Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

Last Tuesday, I received a message from Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, relaying Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.’s request for a meeting to apologize personally for the things he mentioned about me in his presentation during the T3 Zoom meeting last week – which I mentioned in my manifestation during the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing last Jan. 15. He also promised to brief me and disclose all the details of their vaccine procurement, including the prices of the different brands.

Then came the instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte to Sec. Galvez to brief Senate President Vicente Sotto III. I suggested to them that SP Sotto and I just go together, along with Sen. Ronald de la Rosa.

Sec. Galvez’s briefing clarified a lot of issues and concerns raised by the senators that have remained unresolved until last night. We advised him to explain in tomorrow’s hearing the same way that he did last night, without violating the terms of the agreement with the vaccine suppliers.

On our part, we committed to honor and respect those terms so as not to put in jeopardy the deliveries of the vaccines that he said will start within the first quarter of this year.

I accepted his apology. He promised to be more careful in issuing statements.

We were shown the documents. And we have no doubt about Sec. Galvez’s integrity and his sincerity to accomplish his task.

That said, we advised Sec. Galvez to mind his back, front, left and right sides. He may have the best of intentions but there may be people pushing him out front to do the talking and explaining to take advantage of his credibility while pursuing their own interests. He assured us that he will make it very hard for those people to even have an opening for that opportunity.

We share the same goal – to ensure our people are vaccinated against COVID-19, with no room for overpricing and other irregularities. The executive and legislative departments must work together in this regard.

*****

Ping: Isyu sa Sinovac, Sana Naturuan ang Vaccine Officials na Maging Matapat

Sana naging instrumento ang kontrobersya sa Sinovac para matuto ng seryosong aral sa katapatan at walang ikinukubling transaksyon ang mga opisyales na nangangasiwa sa bakuna laban sa COVID-19.

Binigyang diin ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, kasabay ng pagsasabing hindi sana natuon sa Sinovac ang atensiyon ng Senado kung hindi nagpatumpik-tumpik ang mga opisyal.

β€œIf they had been more forthright and honest in their responses in our first hearing, hindi mafo-focus sa Sinovac,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam sa ANC.

Ayon pa sa mambabatas, palagiang handa ang dalawang kapulungan ng Kongreso na makipagtulungan sa ehekutibo kaya nararapat lamang na malaman din nila kung paano ginugugol ang mga pondong kanilang inaaprubahan.

β€œWhen the Senate hearings raised more questions than answers about Sinovac, our officials were both tongue-tied and stuttering, leaving us with a string of flip-flopping pronouncements,” bahagi ng privilege speech ni Lacson nitong Lunes.

Related: Lacson Hopes Vaccine Officials Learned Hard Lesson on Transparency
Continue reading “Ping: Isyu sa Sinovac, Sana Naturuan ang Vaccine Officials na Maging Matapat”

Lacson Hopes Vaccine Officials Learned Hard Lesson on Transparency

While there is still a long way to go as far as the government’s vaccination efforts are concerned, the controversy involving COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac should be a hard lesson on honesty and transparency for officials in the program, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.

Lacson said that had the officials been forthright about the conditions of negotiations with Sinovac early on, there would have been no speculations or suspicions about the matter.

β€œIf they had been more forthright and honest in their responses in our first hearing, hindi mafo-focus sa Sinovac,” he said in an interview on ANC, stressing that while Congress – the Senate and House of Representatives – are willing partners of the executive department, in return, lawmakers β€œneed to be informed also what happened to the appropriations we gave you.”

β€œWhen the Senate hearings raised more questions than answers about Sinovac, our officials were both tongue-tied and stuttering, leaving us with a string of flip-flopping pronouncements,” Lacson noted in his privilege speech on the issue Monday.

Related: Ping: Isyu sa Sinovac, Sana Naturuan ang Vaccine Officials na Maging Matapat
Continue reading “Lacson Hopes Vaccine Officials Learned Hard Lesson on Transparency”

Ping: Panibagong ‘Pact’ sa UP at Security Sector, Dapat Buuin

Kailangan na magkaroon ng panibagong kasunduan ang University of The Philippines (UP) at security sector bunga ng pagkakapawalambisa sa kasunduan noong 1989 na nagbabawal sa pagpasok ng pulis at militar sa unibersidad nang walang coordination.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, kailangang mapapanatili ang academic freedom sa loob ng “State U.”

β€œOnce the pact is terminated, what will the security sector do? We don’t know that yet. Probably they could come to an agreement that there are boundaries to be observed,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng ANC.

Related: Lacson: Boundaries Should be Observed after Ending of 1989 UP Pact
Continue reading “Ping: Panibagong ‘Pact’ sa UP at Security Sector, Dapat Buuin”