#PingSays: On the ‘Designated Survivor’ Bill; Release of Convicted Chinese Drug Lords | Aug. 29, 2019

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
Senate Bill 982, the ‘Designated Survivor’ bill
Chinese shipowner’s apology over Recto Bank incident
4 Chinese drug lords reportedly released

Quotes from the interview…

On the ‘Designated Survivor‘ bill:

“I filed the bill on designated survivor first kasi bitin ang provision sa Constitution, the line of succession stops at the Speaker of the House. And I noticed during SONA everybody is there practically. Andun ang President, VP, SP, SOH. Must attend ang mga yan. So knock on wood kung halimbawa may extremist or terrorist na bombahin ang Batasan at naubos lahat, wala tayong susunod na successor. So I thought of the idea na mag-file ng bill kasi requirement sa Constitution magkaroon ng enabling law in that regard. So after SOH we will continue the line of succession by naming the most senior member of the Senate in terms of number of years. After that kung naubos lahat na senador ang most senior member of HOR. Kung naubos lahat na member ng HOR, the President will designate any designated survivor from among the members of the Cabinet who will be sequestered and kept in a safe place para sa ganoon kung maubos kaming lahat, meron pa ring mag-act as President.”

“Siyempre kung may naiwan kung di nasama ang SOH, kasama siya sa line of succession. Kung may naiwan na senador, siyempre masasama siya. Pero kung lahat maubos meron pa ring matitira, yan ang designated survivor from among the members of the Cabinet.”

“Kaya pag naisabatas ito maraming hindi mag-attend ng SONA.”

On how long the designated survivor will be Acting President:

“Hanggang tumawag ng election. Hindi final ito pero until such time the presidential election is held. Or we may limit the period, pwede sa provision ng magiging batas, mag-designate ng 6 months halimbawa first SONA so meron pang 5 years para hindi Acting President will act as President for 5 years. Pwede ilimit yan, this will be subject to further deliberations.”

On inspiration from the TV show ‘Designated Survivor’:

“Yes, sort of. Because itโ€™s a practice in the US na talagang may designated survivor. I reviewed the Constitution, Art VII, and naroon talaga na bitin ang line of succession. Huminto ito sa SOH and I noticed during SONA na naroon lahat na 4, Pres, VP, SP, SOH.”

On PH tax leaks:

“(China) ang No. 1 trading partner natin sa Asia, next to US. At yan ang available data na nakuha namin sa WB. And itโ€™s very glaring; for 2017 alone we lost more than P80B in tax leakages.”

“Isang country pa lang na trading partner natin. So there could be more. It could run to hundreds of billions of pesos lost every year.”

On Chinese shipownerโ€™s apology:

“An apology is an apology no matter when it is offered or given. So there is no saying we should forget that unfortunate incident. Depende yan sa aggrieved parties who are the fishermen, kung tama na ang apology sa kanila without any compensation.”

“In the meantime thatโ€™s good enough. But I think that would be discussed in the visit of the President. Iโ€™m just hoping it could be taken up as a matter of fact, and the Chinese government will also consider offering the same apology on behalf of the Chinese people.”

“It (compensation) depends on the aggrieved parties. Ako kasi forgiving. Ang humingi sa akin ng tawad hindi ko siningil. Pero depende sa aggrieved party.”

On the GCTA row:

“Weโ€™ll ask for the list. Right now I have a copy of some names of releases. At least 4 of those released last Aug 16 are Chinese drug lords. They were released to the custody of the BI for possible deportation. But these are convicted Chinese drug lords that have already been released as of Aug 16. Weโ€™re trying to look for the copy of the Aug 20 release order in favor of Mayor Sanchez. But apparently nawawala ang kopya.”

“All these Chinese drug lords had been convicted for violation of illegal drug laws.”

On alleged release order for Mayor Antonio Sanchez:

“If we take the word of the members of the family there was a release order issued as of Aug 20. Sabi nila nakapag-fingerprint na si Mayor Sanchez. And by his own admission sinabi ni Dir Faeldon na 11,000 ang naka-lineup na ire-release. Thatโ€™s why maybe itโ€™s subliminal or malicious or mischievous kaya ko naisip na baka parang container per container P5000 or P10000, baka per released convict baka may corresponding amount. When we talk of 11,000 convicts to be released at P10,000 each or P5000 each, you can just imagine the huge amount of money involved. Iโ€™m not saying it happened. But sabi ko nga, pwedeng isipin. Kasi bakit in bulk ganoon karami. And mabuti timely magkakaroon ng hearing on account of the bill filed by Sen Gordon and also his privilege speech na sabing dapat i-revisit natin.”

“That (holding those responsible accountable) would be 1 of the objectives of the hearing not just to review the provisions in the RPC pati definition ng GCTA but also to hold accountable. Letโ€™s see.”

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