Letter to the Editor: Senator Lacson seeks to set the record straight [Manila Times]

To The Manila Times: This is in connection with the column of Mr. Rigoberto Tiglao published on Dec. 21, 2018, where he made several baseless accusations and innuendoes against Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson.

Senator Lacson Seeks to Set the Record Straight

Letters, Dec. 22, 2018

This is in connection with the column of Mr. Rigoberto Tiglao published on Dec. 21, 2018, where he made several baseless accusations and innuendoes against Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson.

Please allow us to set the record straight, so that your readers and the public may distinguish fact from fake.

Sen. Lacson, in doing his job of scrutinizing the budget, bases his statements on facts when calling out wrongdoing. In his interpellation of the general principles of the proposed P3.7-trillion budget for 2019, he based his questions on his scrutiny of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB), the version approved by the House of Representatives under Speaker Arroyo’s leadership.

In his interpellation, Sen. Lacson questioned not only the ballooning of allocations for infrastructure in some legislative districts, but also the Tulong Dunong program where lawmakers distribute checks to their chosen scholars, even when the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education (Free Tuition) Act had already been passed. Both cases are tantamount to grave abuse of discretion, which is covered in the 2013 decision of the Supreme Court outlawing pork barrel.

The Senator also questioned the removal of the Unified Accounts Code Structure (UACS) in the House-approved version of the proposed 2019 budget. The UACS is a system that facilitates the tracking of items for funding in the budget.

Bato-bato sa langit, ang tamaan huwag magalit.

Second, Sen. Lacson already made clear he has made peace with Mrs. Arroyo, and that he has forgiven those who wronged him. It is thus ridiculous for Mr. Tiglao to conjure wild scenarios in his column.

Third, it is disturbing that Mr. Tiglao, instead of helping his former boss clear up the issue of pork and other irregularities in the 2019 budget, chose to muddle it instead by hurling innuendoes at the Senator. It is disturbing as well that he buries his so-called journalist’s disclosure of being Speaker Arroyo’s former presidential spokesman and chief of staff deep into his article, instead of coming up with it at the start, just so his readers know where he is coming from.

It is also a wonder why Mr. Tiglao, for all his (claimed) experience as a journalist, keeps referring to the Senator as Panfilo Lacson Jr. He may need to go back to the basics of journalism, much more so when writing a column for a prestigious paper like The Manila Times.

We hope this sets the record straight.

Joel Locsin

Media Relations Officer

Office of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson

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