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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.

On Some PhilHealth Officials’ Non-Attendance at the Senate’s Aug. 11 Hearing

At least two PhilHealth officials cannot attend the Senate’s Aug. 11 hearing for medical reasons.

Their failure to attend Tuesday’s hearing is their loss, not the Senate’s, simply because they won’t be there to respond to new issues to be brought up by resource persons and some new incriminating documents in our possession.

Having said that, I wish PhilHealth President-CEO Morales well in his fight against the Big C. In all sincerity, I join his family in praying for his recovery. It is unfortunate that these new corruption issues have exploded at a time when his health condition is at a low point.

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QUOTES FROM DWIZ INTERVIEW:
Continue reading “On Some PhilHealth Officials’ Non-Attendance at the Senate’s Aug. 11 Hearing”

#PINGterview: Ordinaryong Pilipino, Baka Mawalan ng Gana Magbayad sa PhilHealth?

Nakakapangamba kung mawalan na tuluyan ng gana ang ordinaryong Pilipino na mag-contribute sa PhilHealth dahil sa katiwaliang bumabalot dito, ayon kay Sen. Ping Lacson sa panayam sa DZAR.

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: Ordinaryong Pilipino, Baka Mawalan ng Gana Magbayad sa PhilHealth?”

Balancing Economy and Health: On The Pandemic-Caused Recession Worsened by PhilHealth Corruption

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed the government in a very precarious situation as in a tightrope-like balancing act between health and economic issues, which presents a no win-all situation.

That is why it is revolting to discover so much unabated corruption in PhilHealth involving billions that could have been put into good use in adequately addressing at least the issue of health.

Having said that, I would like to believe, as often expressed by the country’s economic managers, that we continue to benefit from our strong economic fundamentals which can pull us through this crisis, until such time that a vaccine that has guaranteed efficacy is finally developed to address the pandemic.

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Moratorium on Corruption: A Challenge to PhilHealth

Recent developments have given us a sneak peek into the extent of corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I thus pose this challenge to the corrupt elements in PhilHealth: Declare a moratorium on corruption, at least during the pandemic. Who knows, they might actually learn that it feels good not to be corrupt, and thus develop an aversion to corruption.

Having said that, I also encourage those in PhilHealth who fight corruption in their own little way – the officials and rank-and-file who continue to provide information and documents – not to tire of blowing the whistle on corruption, even if we may not immediately see the results of their acts.

A corruption-free – and more importantly, corruption-averse – PhilHealth will not only ensure much-needed health benefits for all Filipinos in the long run. In the immediate term, it will ease the concerns of lawmakers, myself included, that the budget we pass for PhilHealth to do its job will not be lost to greed.

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QUOTES from INTERVIEWS on ANC and CNN Philippines
Continue reading “Moratorium on Corruption: A Challenge to PhilHealth”

#PINGterview: Security Concerns for PhilHealth Mess ‘Witnesses’

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* PhilHealth officials evasive answers at Senate hearing
* Security concerns of prospective witnesses
* Gen. Morales, misled o co-opted?

QUOTES and NOTES:
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Nasaan ang Kaluluwa ng mga Gumagawa Nito? Senate Hearing on Corruption at PhilHealth

Sen. Lacson’s Opening Statement at the Senate Committee of the Whole Hearing on Corruption at PhilHealth:

SP Sotto and I filed SRN 475, later co-authored by almost all the members of this present Senate, after a number of PhilHealth officials, both incumbent or recently resigned, sought our intervention to help them “drain the swamp,” as American politicians would love to say when they see the need to root out corruption.

And for good reason. PhilHealth is a murky, stinking swamp that many of its good and well-meaning people from the officials to their rank-and-file employees want drained, not just of some corrupt but well-entrenched officials who do not seem to run out of malevolent schemes to enrich themselves, but of a deeply rooted, mafia-like syndicate that controls the resources of the corporation, and habitually manipulate its financial records, that even the COA seems helpless in the conduct of their regular audit.

If we look closely enough, the story only revolves around the same cast of characters – a circle of high-ranking officials who manage to hog their seats despite the change of leadership and detailed anomalies that we already unearthed in the past.

Continue reading “Nasaan ang Kaluluwa ng mga Gumagawa Nito? Senate Hearing on Corruption at PhilHealth”

#PINGterview: Senate Hearing on PhilHealth Corruption | August 3, 2020

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answers questions on:
* Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on corruption at PhilHealth on Aug. 4
* Calls for DOH Secretary Duque’s resignation
* Medical frontliners’ plight

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: Senate Hearing on PhilHealth Corruption | August 3, 2020”

On Sec. Duque’s Fitness to Stay as DOH Chief

It is not only me who disagrees with the President for not firing Secretary Duque. There were 14 senators who had earlier asked him to resign. I don’t think that number has changed.

Many others in the DOH and the medical community also want him to resign or be replaced.

Having said that, I couldn’t understand what “amulet” or magic potion Duque has as far as the President is concerned.

His failure to do a simple contact tracing on the co-passengers who took the same flight as the virus-infected couple from Wuhan, China, further aggravated by his refusal to assume responsibility by blaming other agencies of government when it was his duty to coordinate that effort was his first major offense in a series of devastating blunders.

All these being considered, it is not difficult to understand why we are in this mess.

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On Health Care Workers’ Appeal to Place Mega Manila under ECQ

The request of health workers to place Mega Manila under ECQ for at least two weeks is a valid request that Malacañang should seriously consider. Putting human lives above all considerations is a no-brainer, given the choice.

Having said that, some adjustments can be made in the distribution of government subsidy to the most basic necessities of those who need it the most.

What is important is to prevent an obvious pattern of upsurge in the daily coronavirus infection.

On the other hand, this underscores the significance of data management by concerned government agencies, which after more than four months should have already been in place and readily implementable.

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On Corruption at PhilHealth: Mafia Back with a Vengeance

We have witnesses who are willing to testify and detail the pervasive and deep-rooted corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

At the outset, I can say that this new Senate investigation will reveal the same cast of characters, or at least a number of them, that we already exposed in a Senate inquiry in August last year after my “PhilHealth and the Department of Wealth” privilege speech on July 29, 2019.

I would say, the syndicate is back with a vengeance – or at least its core group has never left.

It is revolting to see the PhilHealth mafia very much active and still in control of the already depleted resources of the agency, made worse by blatant manipulation of its financial statements. They must have mastered the art of influence-peddling as they seem to continue to gain access to the “corridors of power.”

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