A no-nonsense public servant for more than 50 years, 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 – as an untiring, tenacious watchdog of the national budget – made sure dubious congressional insertions (a.k.a. pork barrel) and useless appropriations are checked and deleted during plenary debates. More about Ping Lacson here.
From ABS-CBN News: Talks about a supposed move to destabilize the Marcos Jr. administration were triggered by a move of retired uniformed personnel to spearhead a crusade for clean and honest elections in the future, former senator Panfilo Lacson said.
There is no such thing as “Legalized Corruption” in Congress via a concurrent resolution – much less one with my involvement, as claimed by some sectors who are either misinformed or seeking to disinform – or both.
As a background, I was tasked to file the said resolution – Concurrent Resolution No. 10 – which actually sought more accountability by justifying the liquidation of funds through the submission of receipts. Before this, lawmakers had been allowed to liquidate funds merely through certification since Congress reopened in 1987.
Thus, while the Concurrent Resolution allows certification by individual legislators to disburse funds allocated to their respective offices, it does not excuse ANYONE from liquidating through official receipts and other verifiable documents, much less from being audited by the Commission on Audit – as NOBODY in government is exempted from COA audit.
For the record, throughout my years in public service, I have always been consistent in complying with all the existing COA regulations, much more with the required submission of liquidation instruments when I was in the Senate. Thus, when the COA first conducted a special audit of Congress, I was the first one who submitted the receipts and related documents.
To Malaya Business Insight: I wish to set the record straight regarding some points in Mr. Dody Lacuna’s October 3, 2023 column in Malaya Business-Insight, particularly where he mentioned some “details” of the kidnapping of Meneleo Carlos in 1994.
Any proposed changes should not be discriminatory, hence must apply to other non-contributory systems like the judiciary, prosecution service, and constitutional commissions. Also, the diminution of pension benefits will violate the Constitution. These are among the talking points of the Position Paper of the PMA Class of 1971, Inc., discussed in further detail.
From Inquirer.net: Government project funding has allegedly been bloated by 328 percent after receiving “double, triple, quadruple and quintuple” appropriations this year–but hidden in the 2024 national budget, former Sen. Panfilo Lacson said.
While somebody whose name was prominently and repeatedly mentioned during the Senate hearings as the alleged financier of the syndicate is apparently missing in the list of those recommended for indictment, it is still good enough to commend the Ombudsman for this latest development.
That being said, I am willing to concede that maybe the evidence is not sufficient to establish probable cause against him.
From the Inquirer: (A)s pointed out by anti-corruption crusaders like former senator Panfilo Lacson and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, we need infrastructure that is not subject to the corrupt racket that lines the pockets of politicians and their private sector cohorts and which results in substandard projects that need frequent repairs.
From the Inquirer: To be sure, Magalong’s uncompromising stand against the unremitting greed of some public officials has also gained support from his allies, including former senator Panfilo Lacson, his fellow retired police general who fought against the pork barrel system.
From the Inquirer: That the singular protest comes from a former senator whose voice has grown hoarse from repeated warnings (many times ignored) about government budget abuses should not be a cause of complacency for our economic managers.
From Alfred Dalizon’s column in People’s Journal: Highly respected former Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson, the 8th PNP chief from November 16, 1999 to February 16, 2001 has this to say on new PNP Chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda.
From BusinessMirror: Retirement pensions, especially for those who have served honorably in the AFP and other uniformed services, must be treated as a vital part of an incentive package for retirees as well as for those planning to serve the country through the profession of arms. This was the stand of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Matatag” Class of 1971 Inc. in its position paper.
From the Manila Bulletin: “I am enjoying life and want to keep enjoying it,” he said when we sat with him for an afternoon conversation, a series on people who were more than celebrities who suddenly left public space.
This position paper is an offshoot of the pronouncement of Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno on March 28, 2023 about the Marcos administration’s intent to overhaul the pension system of the military and uniformed personnel (MUP).
To theInquirer: While I am gratified that my concerns have triggered a debate on the merits of the menstrual leave bill – online bashing by trolls notwithstanding – I am setting the record straight on some aspects of her column, and sharing the basis of my earlier opinion on the subject bill.
While he is all for upholding the welfare of women, former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is concerned that a proposal for a paid menstrual leave may do more harm than good to the ordinary working woman whose rights it is supposed to uphold, as well as to the country.
Lacson pointed out the economic implications of such a leave may lead to layoffs or even closing of some factories whose owners do not have the budget for it.
“Instead of benefiting the female workforce in general, it may have a negative effect on the economic and political stability of the country,” he said.
From Alfred Dalizon’s column in People’s Journal: “While I share with them the same advocacy and passion in ending the insurgency problem, I enjoin them to focus on the enemy without harassing those of us who put our lives on the line while serving in the AFP and PNP,” Lacson said.
While Congress has the power to amend any law, I do not see the wisdom or logic in amending Republic Act 11709, a new law which has not been tested yet.
In fact, the final version is generally the same as the original legislative proposal submitted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Department of National Defense, with some amendments of course.
Further, the implementing rules and regulations crafted by the former DND officials led by ex-OIC Jose Faustino Jr. do not conform with the provisions of the law, which I sponsored and co-authored in the Senate.
First, the Philippine National Police already clarified last weekend the reason for its supposed heightened alert status – it was for another purpose, not related to any destabilization or the rumored “mass resignation” of DND officials which as it turned out is just that – rumor.
Department of National Defense OIC Jose Faustino Jr., newly designated AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino and newly retired Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, along with two or three DND undersecretaries, all belong to PMA Class 1988. Even among PMA batchmates, sometimes there are dynamics due to personal associations and loyalties that cannot be avoided. There is information though that OIC and Senior DND Undersecretary Faustino mentioned to some close associates as early as last month that he will resign if Lt. Gen. Bacarro will be replaced. That could have probably triggered the rumored “mass resignation” in the DND.
That being said, the AFP is generally composed of professional officers and men whose loyalty to the flag and the Constitution is above and beyond their individual preferences.
Stupidity or greed? If reports are accurate that the budget appropriated by Congress for the setup of redundancies in the air traffic control system was diverted to some beautification projects at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), those responsible should spend their next holiday season in jail.
First, an appropriation is a provision of law passed by Congress that must be followed by the implementing agency.
That being the premise, while I cannot speak for the present Congress, I used to grill concerned Executive Department officials on how they used the budget not just for the previous year but even as far back as three years before approving their budget proposal – especially during the committee deliberations where we could directly question the heads of agencies concerned.
Prior to the committee hearings and plenary debates, I diligently reviewed and discussed with my staff both the proposed and past appropriations of major agencies even as far back as three budget years, with emphasis on underutilization and misuse of public funds.
Incidentally, the DoTr is one of the departments with the worst underspending records, year in and year out. The P13 billion must have been part of their unspent appropriations declared as savings then realigned. I hope Sen. Grace Poe’s committee can look more deeply into the history of that particular appropriation.
From Alfred Dalizon’s column in People’s Journal: I fully agree with former Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson when he declared that the conviction of a former policeman for the brutal killing of two teenagers in 2017 along with the resulting law transferring the training of police recruits to the Philippine National Police should help spell the end for “drug-related” torture and murder – and other abuses involving rogues in uniform.
The conviction of a former policeman for the brutal killing of two teenagers in 2017, along with the resulting law transferring the training of police recruits to the Philippine National Police (PNP), should help spell the end for “drug-related” torture and murder – and other abuses involving scalawags in uniform.
Former Senator and PNP chief Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson stressed this as he noted the grim lesson from the conviction of former Police Officer 1 Jeffrey Perez should reinforce the improved training for police recruits as provided by Republic Act 11279 – which he sponsored after investigating the case in the Senate.
“A stern lesson from the past has been served to our future policemen. The conviction of ex-PO1 Perez, along with the improved training of police recruits as provided by RA 11279, should drive home the message that there is no room for unfit and erring police officers, a.k.a. ICU Cops – the Inept, Corrupt and Undisciplined,” said Lacson.
The Committee can demand, if it so desires, the submission of pertinent documents of confidential and intelligence funds (CIFs) such as approved intelligence project proposals and the like. The minority bloc is an indispensable part of the select committee.
The present Senate can constitute such a select committee by electing its members and thereafter exercise its functions.
That being said, an impartial investigation must be conducted immediately with the end in view of preventing any similar incident in the future.
More importantly, the intended hostage is safe and unscathed even as we should pray for the injured police officer.
What is not known to many, an offer for transfer was already made by the PNP to Sen de Lima as early as mid-August this year on the occasion of the US Congressional delegation visit led by Sen. Markey, the reason being – the PNP Custodial Center is primarily designed for high-value criminals and high-risk terrorists. Unfortunately, the former senator declined the offer and opted to stay where she is presently detained.
That all being said, and without intending to preempt the authorities, high-risk detainees who are members of an internationally proscribed terrorist organization like the Abu Sayyaf Group should be isolated and not mixed with the other PDLs.
That, I assume, will be part of the recommendations in an investigation now being conducted.
The Manila RTC’s dismissal of the pending proscription case is pursuant to the Saving Clause provision under the Anti-Terrorism Act and should not in any way be interpreted as a setback for the law itself.
That being said, that is exactly the reason why “proscription” is designed to be the exclusive authority of the judiciary since it could involve possible detention of individuals and members of organizations suspected to be violating the Act, hence due process of law must be strictly observed.
Unlike “designation” which only involves preliminary freezing of bank accounts and assets of those involved in terrorist financing, and which the Anti-Terrorism Council is given the authority to perform since it is merely an administrative act.
Well said. I could not agree more with the statement of the NTF-ELCAC.*
Senator Legarda is a friend and I respect her opinion but I cannot for the life of me agree with her stand, apparently articulated by her statement that the CPP-NPA-NDF is not an enemy of the state. Simply put, an armed terrorist group — already designated not only by the government of the Republic of the Philippines but also by the European Union, the United States of America and four other countries (Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand) — is unequivocally an enemy of the state.
That being said, any attempt to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act is a disrespect to our comrades-in-arms as well as the countless civilians who fell victims to the atrocities of this terrorist group that has lost its ideological principles over the years – they murder, they rob, they extort, they harass and intimidate and worse, indiscriminately.
Having authored and sponsored and almost single-handedly defended the legislative measure in the Senate plenary, as well as in the battle for public opinion in many fora including the media, I will not hesitate to be part of the opposition to thwart moves to amend this law in its substantive form which no less than the Supreme Court has declared as constitutional.
P/Gen Rodolfo Azurin Jr, Chief of the Philippine National Police; members of the command group and Directorial Staff and all the officers present; the men and women of the proud and brave organization, the PNP, magandang umaga po sa ating lahat.
It always feels good to be back home. To some of us in the Board of Trustees of the PNP Foundation Inc. Camp Crame is our home, a place where we spent most of our adult professional life facing challenges too many that we have lost count of the number. How time flies, and fast.
Twenty-two years ago, I used to preside and lead our regular Monday flag-raising ceremonies where we would start our week’s work in our offices, in the field, or wherever we could be deployed to serve and protect the people; unsure if we would still be alive to attend the next hoisting of the Philippine flag right on this spot where we stand now.
Fidel Valdez Ramos: PC Chief, AFP Chief of Staff, DND Secretary and Commander-in-Chief. All my life as a soldier and policeman, he was my superior officer through and through. He made me Lieutenant Colonel at age 31 and handed me my first star at age 45. Rest In Peace, Sir.
Sa pagtatapos ng termino sa Senado ni Senador Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson sa ika-30 ng Hunyo, tila pagbubukas ng isang panibagong kabanata ng buhay naman ang kanyang kinikinita – ang makapag-ambag sa food security ng bansa sa pamamagitan ng pagtahak sa isang agri-aqua business kasama ang ilang kaibigan, kabilang ang dating kalihim ng agrikultura na si Secretary Emmanual “Manny” Pinol.
“I’m just looking at a closed chapter in my life story. I’m now turning a new page with a new chapter. This is my third career. My first career was in law enforcement, then I became a legislator,” ayon kay Lacson sa isang panayam nitong Linggo ng gabi.
“I’m just looking at a closed chapter in my life story. I’m now turning a new page with a new chapter. This is my third career. My first career was in law enforcement, then I became a legislator,” Lacson said Sunday evening.
Kondisyunal na pagsuspinde sa excise tax ng gasolina, at ang pagtanggal sa napakaraming Value-Added Tax (VAT) exemptions.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson, ito ang dalawang magkaakibat na solusyon na magbibigay ng hinga sa mga Pilipino sa patuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng gasolina.
“We can conditionally suspend excise taxes on fuel when oil prices reach a threshold price in the international market such as $90 or even $100 per barrel. This could provide some breathing space not just for the transport sector but those affected by high fuel prices,” ayon kay Lacson sa isang panayam Linggo ng gabi.
A conditional suspension of the excise tax on fuel, and the scrapping of several lines of exemption in the Value-Added Tax (VAT).
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said this is the two-pronged formula that can give Filipinos some badly needed breathing room from the effects of prohibitive fuel prices.
“We can conditionally suspend excise taxes on fuel when oil prices reach a threshold price in the international market such as $90 or even $100 per barrel. This could provide some breathing space not just for the transport sector but those affected by high fuel prices,” Lacson said in an interview with the media Sunday evening.
Umaasa si Senador Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson na ipagpapatuloy ng mga Senador ng 19th Congress ang krusada sa pagbubusisi at pagbabantay sa national budget laban sa mga kuwestiyunableng congressional insertions (a.k.a “pork barrel”) at mga hindi kapaki-pakinabang na appropriations.
“I hope somebody will take the cudgels and continue the fight because while the Supreme Court has ruled pork barrel as unconstitutional, there are so many ways to go around it,” pahayag ni Lacson sa media noong Linggo ng gabi sa Pasay City.
Idinagdag din ng Senador na magtatapos ang termino sa ika-30 ng Hunyo, na makakatulong nang husto sa budget scrutiny ang ilang miyembro ng kaniyang staff na ngayo’y magiging bahagi na rin ng opisina ng ibang mga senador.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson is hoping senators in the 19th Congress will continue his crusade of tenaciously scrutinizing the national budget and keeping it free from dubious congressional insertions (a.k.a. “pork barrel”) and useless appropriations.
“I hope somebody will take the cudgels and continue the fight because while the Supreme Court has ruled pork barrel as unconstitutional, there are so many ways to go around it,” Lacson, who ends his Senate term on June 30, told media in Pasay City Sunday evening.
He added some members of his staff who have joined other senators can be a great help in scrutinizing the budget for dubious insertions.
If the blocked websites had to do with financing the activities of the CPP-NPA which the Anti-Terrorism Council had already designated as a terrorist organization, there is legal basis under the law for such action undertaken by the NTC.
That being said, the action may be challenged before the court because it is the basic right of an “aggrieved” party to do so as it has something to do with the interpretation of the law.
Having capped his career as the AFP Chief of Staff easily qualifies Gen. Faustino as the next Secretary of National Defense in November, in consideration of the one-year ban on the appointment of newly retired AFP officers under RA 11709.
My objection to his appointment earlier as a 3-star general being the Commanding General of the Philippine Army had nothing to do with his competence but his disqualification due to the prohibition under Presidential Decree 1638, having less than one year before retirement.
Only the Chief of Staff, AFP is exempted from such ban.
I remember making a commitment to SND Lorenzana then that even if Faustino was on floating status and appointed Chief of Staff, I would not object to his confirmation as 4-star general and even move for his confirmation in the Commission on Appointments as a member of the Senate panel, which I did.
This is it. My long journey of 50 years now comes to an end. Looking back, I had a very simple childhood ambition. To become a lawyer and to start and cap my career as an agent of the NBI. With some unplanned twist of fate I graduated from the PMA. My dream then was to wear that insignia with a star on my shoulder. Instead I got four stars as chief of the nation’s police force and with a bang.
Itinulak ni Sen. Ping Lacson ang pagbaba ng rate ng Value-Added Tax (VAT) at pagtanggal ng exemptions dito para makalikom ng pondo ang gobyerno na hindi dadagdag sa pabigat sa ordinaryong Pilipino.
Ayon kay Lacson, kung nasunod lang ang formula na isinulong niya noon pang 2018, maaari nang lumikom ng hindi bababa sa P117 bilyon kada taon na dagdag na tax revenues kahit na binaba ang VAT rate sa 10 percent mula sa kasalukuyang 12 percent.
“The Department of Finance should have adopted my proposal when Congress was deliberating on Train 1. We could have earned at least P117 billion in additional tax revenues in 2018 alone, even with a reduced VAT rate from 12% to 10%, by removing 78 lines of exemption from some sectors such as the power sector, cooperatives, housing, and economic zones,” ani Lacson, matapos mapaulat na isusulong ng Department of Finance sa susunod na administrasyon ang pagtanggal ng VAT exemption para makalikom ng P142.5 bilyon kada taon. Ang pondo diumano ay gagamitin para bayaran ang utang ng bansa.
Bringing down the rate of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) while removing VAT exemptions in several sectors will go a long way in raising much-needed revenues for the government while lessening the burden on ordinary Filipinos.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said this formula, which he proposed as early as 2018, could have raised at least P117 billion a year in additional tax revenues even with a VAT rate of 10 percent, lower than the current 12 percent.
“The Department of Finance should have adopted my proposal when Congress was deliberating on Train 1. We could have earned at least P117 billion in additional tax revenues in 2018 alone, even with a reduced VAT rate from 12% to 10%, by removing 78 lines of exemption from some sectors such as the power sector, cooperatives, housing, and economic zones,” Lacson said, following reports the DOF will ask the next administration to remove VAT exemptions to generate at least P142.5 billion every year, with the amount potentially used for debt payments.
Higit sa mga matataas na opisyal, dapat bigyang pugay at parangal ang mga sundalong nagsusugal ng buhay para sa bayan.
Iginiit ito ni Senador Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, nang itinulak niyang isama sa resolusyon kaugnay sa pagsagip ng mga Indonesian fishermen laban sa mga Abu Sayyaf noong Disyembre 2019 ang pangalan ng higit 50 sundalo na nagsagawa ng rescue operation.
“Praise the commanders to high heavens if we must; just don’t forget the soldiers who literally risked their lives to make the feat happen,” ani Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, sa kanyang Twitter account nitong Lunes ng hapon.
More than the commanders, the soldiers on the ground who risked their lives deserve to be honored.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson stressed this as he pushed for the inclusion of more than 50 soldiers’ names in a resolution citing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana for the rescue of Indonesian fishermen from the Abu Sayyaf in December 2019.
“Praise the commanders to high heavens if we must; just don’t forget the soldiers who literally risked their lives to make the feat happen,” Lacson, who heads the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, said on his Twitter account Monday afternoon.
“ANG SINUNGALING AY KAPATID NG MAGNANAKAW!” – how can we forget such feisty words from the queen herself, sans script or direction from anyone behind the camera. It was all from Ms Susan Roces – a spontaneous and honest expression of the sad state of politics in the country.