A source of inspiration. On this note, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson thanked his Alma Mater, the Philippine Military Academy, for conferring on him the Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday.
Lacson, a member of the PMA Matatag Class of 1971, noted the award is given to alumni who have spent at least 50 years of “dedicated, exemplary and unblemished service to the country.”
“Thank you Philippine Military Academy for recognizing my 50 years of dedicated service to country and people and for the arduous four years of imbibing in me the values of Courage, Integrity and Loyalty,” he said on his Twitter account.
Lacson – who is running for President under Partido Reporma – spent 50 years in public service, including 30 as a law enforcer in the Philippine Constabulary and Philippine National Police.
During this time, he fought not only criminals but also corruption – with his “No Take” policy where he rejected offers of bribes from criminal syndicates and even those transacting business with the PNP. He also politely declined reward money from grateful relatives of kidnap victims he rescued, saying he was only doing his job.
As PNP chief from 1999 to 2001, Lacson got rid of the “kotong” culture with a combination of strict discipline and leadership by example.
Meanwhile, Lacson spent 18 years as senator, during which he earned a reputation as an eagle-eyed watchdog of the national budget who exposed questionable appropriations in the budget bill.
He also exposed various forms of wrongdoing, including scams involving the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Also, Lacson served as Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, coordinating efforts to help those affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) – and crafting the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan that detailed rehabilitation and recovery plans and funding requirements for the national and local governments, as well as guidelines for engaging with the non-government sector.
Last December, Lacson said the values taught to him by the PMA – Courage, Integrity and Loyalty – will be his guide in addressing the challenges facing the country, should he be elected President in 2022.
It was at the PMA that Lacson learned not just the three virtues of Courage, Integrity and Loyalty – but he also developed his brand of leadership by example and his personal motto, “What is right must be kept right, what is wrong must be set right.”