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.
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).
Atin ang Pag-asa Island na parte ng Kalayaan Island Group sa West Philippine Sea – at kailangang gumawa ng hakbang ang gobyerno para malabanan ang bullying na ginagawa ng China sa lugar.
Ito ang laman ng Senate Resolution 954 na inihain ni Senador Ping Lacson matapos ang kanyang pagbisita sa Pag-asa Island sa kanyang kapasidad bilang pinuno ng Senate Committee on National Defense and Security noong Nov. 20.
“Be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved by the Senate, to condemn the continued presence and hostile acts of Chinese Maritime Vessels within our EEZ and urge the government to fortify, amplify and enhance our positions in the West Philippine Sea thru defense and security agreements with other nations, and by consistently invoking and protecting our internationally recognized rights through continuing diplomatic dialogue with nations of mutual/common interests in the West Philippine Sea,” ani Lacson sa kanyang resolusyon.
Mr. President, fellow members of this august chamber, I have the honor to co-sponsor Committee Report No. 270 — a proposed bill that will allow our municipalities to sustain economic viability by attaining cityhood through an exemption from the requirements for city conversion and at the same time, ensure fiscal equity among our existing cities with the adoption of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) portability.
Mr. President, the principles of creating a sovereign state are simple: the population must be numerous enough to preserve a political entity; its land large enough to sufficiently provide for its people.
Testament to this are the small states such as Monaco, the island state of Naura, Tuvalu, and San Marino — none of them having a land area bigger than 25 square kilometers and population of over 35,000, yet all of them have attained the status as independent states.
Mr. President and distinguished colleagues, it is my honor to report on the floor Senate Bill No. 2376 entitled, “An Act Strengthening Professionalism and Continuity of the Policies and Modernization Initiatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Providing Funds Therefor, and for Other Purposes” as embodied in Committee Report No. 297 in substitution of Senate Bill Nos. 1785, 1045, and 1370 filed by Senators Richard Gordon, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, respectively.
The clamor for this measure has echoed from the grounds of Camp Aguinaldo to the halls of the Senate repeatedly over the years. Generations after generations of military men have clamored for this piece of legislation, most of them had long retired from the service without this measure seeing the light of day.
Mr. President, in the three-and-a-half decades of six (6) past and incumbent presidents, we have had 37 Senior Officers appointed to the position of the Chief of Staff.
Mr. President, in times like this where the scale of daily bad news has almost rendered positive things few and far between, it is truly a breath of fresh air to hear stories of hope and success as that of our Filipino athletes’ victory in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Without taking anything away from our athletes who have given their all in making history and bringing pride to our nation, this representation wishes to also give credit to a leader whose actions inspired and empowered his people to dream more and do more.
Mr. President, I speak of no less than Cavite 8th District Representative Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who has worn yet another challenging hat after having been elected as President of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) in 2019.
Karagdagang buwanang pensiyon at dagdag benepisyo sa mga retiradong career officials ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), pati sa mga naaksidente o nadisgrasya habang sinusulong ang kapakanan ng mga Pinoy at ng Pilipinas sa ibayong dagat.
Ito ang pangunahing nilalaman ng Senate Bill 2347 na inihain ni Senador Panfilo Lacson bilang pag-ayuda sa kapos na buwanang pensiyon na tinatanggap ng mga nabanggit na retiradong opisyales ng kagawaran, sa kabila ng halos pagbubuwis-buhay ng mga ito sa pangangalaga ng kapakanan ng mga Pinoy sa ibayong dagat, lalo na sa mga delikadong bansa.
“Personnel of the DFA are at the frontlines of Philippine foreign relations, sometimes risking their lives under dangerous conditions in their countries of assignment. While in active service, diplomats have demonstrated their resilience as the Philippines’ first line of representation in dealing with a plethora of concerns. Their initiative, competence, professionalism, and creativity have resulted in enduring bilateral and multilateral partnerships, strategic agreements and collaborative engagements that continue to be harnessed for our people’s benefits,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa naturang panukala.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson took the cudgels for retired career officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as he pushed for an increase in their monthly pension and disability benefits, in exchange for their long years of looking after the welfare of Filipinos and the interests of the Philippines abroad.
Lacson, in filing Senate Bill 2347, lamented that some of our DFA retirees were receiving a measly pension despite rendering long years of service at the frontlines of Philippine foreign relations, at times risking their lives under dangerous conditions in their countries of assignment.
“Personnel of the DFA are at the frontlines of Philippine foreign relations, sometimes risking their lives under dangerous conditions in their countries of assignment. While in active service, diplomats have demonstrated their resilience as the Philippines’ first line of representation in dealing with a plethora of concerns. Their initiative, competence, professionalism, and creativity have resulted in enduring bilateral and multilateral partnerships, strategic agreements and collaborative engagements that continue to be harnessed for our people’s benefits,” he said.
The resolution commends the initiative and expresses support to MBC-DZRH for its campaign against misinformation by educating the public and urging government regulatory agencies to craft policies to encourage responsible posting of social media content.
Pinakamainam na Committee of the Whole ng Senado ang mag-imbestiga sa nagsisebong “tong-pats” sa importasyon ng karne ng baboy na paraan ng Department of Agriculture (DA) upang mapunan ang kawalan umano ng suplay bunga ng pananalasa ng African Swine Flu (ASF).
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, maraming aspetong saklaw ang nabanggit na kontrobersiya kung kaya’t tama lamang na buong puwersa na ng Senado ang umungkat sa mga detalye nito.
“I am recommending that the Senate convene into a Committee of the Whole to handle the investigation. The ‘tong-pats’ mess has an impact on foregone revenue and corruption, food security, and health. The Committee of the Whole is best suited for this, instead of having the Blue Ribbon Committee and Committees on Agriculture, Ways and Means and Health handle it separately,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Masyado aniya na malawak ang problema para pangasiwaan lamang ng isa o ilang komite ng Senado ang pagsisiyasat.
Kabilang sa mga maaring masaklaw ay ang usapin sa food security, kaligtasan ng pagkain, ang nawalang koleksiyon ng pamahalaan at ang kalusugan ng publikong kumukunsumo sa mga ito.
Convening the Senate into the Committee of the Whole will be needed to tackle the wide scope of the problems involving the “tong-pats” mess at the Department of Agriculture, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Wednesday.
Lacson said the issues stemming from the mess include food security and a revisiting of the Food Safety Act of 2013 (RA 10611); foregone revenues; and public health.
“I am recommending that the Senate convene into a Committee of the Whole to handle the investigation. The ‘tong-pats’ mess has an impact on foregone revenue and corruption, food security, and health. The Committee of the Whole is best suited for this, instead of having the Blue Ribbon Committee and Committees on Agriculture, Ways and Means and Health handle it separately,” he said.
“My resolution seeking the investigation in aid of legislation may also seek to revisit Republic Act 10611, the Food Security Act of 2013, to address possible loopholes that are being exploited,” he added in an interview on DZXL radio. “Wide masyado ang problema, all-encompassing. Kaya mas maganda kung Committee of the Whole na lang ang hahawak.”
Isinusulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang malalimang imbestigasyon ng Senado sa isang sindikatong “tong-pats” sa loob ng Department of Agriculture, na makikinabang sa rekomendasyon ng ahensya na ibaba ang taripa at taasan ang minimum access volume (MAV) ng imported na baboy dahil sa African Swine Fever (ASF).
Ito ay makaraang makarating sa kaalaman ng mambabatas ang impormasyong limpak-limpak ang “tong-pats” na nakokolekta ng ilang mapagsamantalang nasa gobyerno, habang malalagay sa alanganin o tuluyan nang pagkamatay ang lokal na industriya ng babuyan sa bansa, bukod pa sa malaking halagang nawawala sa ekonomiya at manganganib ang kalusugan ng publiko.
“We should unmask who is/are behind this scheme no matter how powerful and influential he may be with this administration. I want to see even a whiff of enthusiasm from the President to order the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and other concerned agencies to investigate, not to mention heed the call of the Senate to disapprove the DA’s recommendation to reduce the tariff and increase the volume of pork importation. Let’s see,” mariing pahayag ni Lacson.
Nakipag-ugnayan na rin ang mambabatas sa pamunuan ng Mataas na Kapulungan kaugnay sa kanyang hangarin.
“I have talked to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to have the Senate look into this, so we can get the documents we need. So far, we have received documents from the Bureau of Customs and DA. Still, we need more data to get to the bottom of the anomaly,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panayam sa TeleRadyo.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson pushed Tuesday for a Senate investigation into the activities of a syndicate within the Department of Agriculture that stands to gain billions of pesos in “tong-pats” from the DA’s recommendation to lower tariff rates on – and to increase the minimum access volume (MAV) of – imported pork products due to the severe impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) on the swine industry.
Lacson said the anomalies amount to a triple whammy that threatens to kill our local hog industry while raising health concerns and costing the government forgone revenues.
“We should unmask who is/are behind this scheme no matter how powerful and influential he may be with this administration. I want to see even a whiff of enthusiasm from the President to order the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and other concerned agencies to investigate, not to mention heed the call of the Senate to disapprove the DA’s recommendation to reduce the tariff and increase the volume of pork importation. Let’s see,” Lacson said.
“I have talked to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to have the Senate look into this, so we can get the documents we need. So far, we have received documents from the Bureau of Customs and DA. Still, we need more data to get to the bottom of the anomaly,” he added in an interview on TeleRadyo.
How the government sets a balance between promoting civil liberties and protecting the security of the state defines the foundations of our democracy.
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues of this venerable chamber, I have the honor to report the result of the public hearings, in aid of legislation, conducted by the Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, on the issue on “red-tagging or red-baiting” as embodied in Committee Report No. 186.
Dapat nakabukod o hiwalay ang botohan ng Senado at Kamara de Representantes sa pagtalakay ng pagbabago sa probisyon o bahagi ng ating Saligang Batas.
Ito ang nilalaman ng Senate Resolution 623 na inihain ni Senador Panfilo Lacson bilang tugon sa mga galaw na baguhin ang ilang probisyon ng 1987 Constitution.
“My resolution when adopted will clarify unequivocally that voting to revise or amend certain provisions of the 1987 constitution will be done separately via 3/4 votes of the respective members of the Senate and House of Representatives, each voting in plenary,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Ayon sa senador, ginagawa na ito ng Mababang Kapulungan bagama’t nasa lebel pa lang ito ng committee.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed Senate Resolution 623 to unequivocally clarify that voting to revise or amend certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution will be done separately via 3/4 votes of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively.
“My resolution when adopted will clarify unequivocally that voting to revise or amend certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution will be done separately via 3/4 votes of the respective members of the Senate and House of Representatives, each voting in plenary,” Lacson said.
He noted the House of Representatives is doing it now although still at the committee level.
Patawarin uli natin si Cong Garbin – dahil talagang hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya.
Ito ang reaksiyon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa paggamit ni House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Alfredo Garbin Jr. sa isang resolusyon na isinulong ng senador noon pang 17th Congress.
Sa panayam ng Politiko TV, iginiit ni Garbin na ang pagtalakay sa pagbabago sa Saligang Batas na kanilang ginagawa ay batay sa Senate Resolution 580 na inihain ni Lacson noong Enero 2018.
“Under Senate Resolution 580, which I filed in 2018, proposed changes are to undergo the regular lawmaking process. This means proposed amendments to the Charter are to be tackled at the committee level first, then approved in the plenary, before both Houses convene into a constituent assembly. Nowhere in the resolution does it say na committee pa lang, Con-Ass na,” ayon kay Lacson.
Forgive Cong Garbin yet again. This time – for he knows not what he says.
On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson debunked on Saturday the new claim by Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. that the tackling of proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution by a House panel last Wednesday was in line with a Senate resolution he authored in the 17th Congress.
Garbin claimed in an online interview Friday that Senate Resolution 580, which Lacson introduced in January 2018, allows both Houses to separately tackle amendments to the Constitution without need for a joint session.
“Under Senate Resolution 580, which I filed in 2018, proposed changes are to undergo the regular lawmaking process. This means proposed amendments to the Charter are to be tackled at the committee level first, then approved in the plenary, before both Houses convene into a constituent assembly. Nowhere in the resolution does it say na committee pa lang, Con-Ass na,” Lacson said.
“Be it resolved… to direct the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation to exercise its oversight authority over the defense sector on the issue of red-tagging/red-baiting of certain celebrities, personalities, institutions, and organizations, with the end in view of crafting proper guidelines that will prevent misunderstanding between the public and the military and ensuring the protection of the constitutional rights of the people, thereby strengthening the confidence and trust of our people on the professionalism of our military in consonance with the constitutional edict that the AFP is the protector of the people and the state, and that civilian authority is at all times supreme over the military.”
“The IRR of the Anti-Terrorism Act is so masterfully crafted that it gives our law enforcement officers no room for misinterpretation in implementing the law. Even this early, having the Executive Secretary, SOJ and SFA in the ATC is serving its purpose.” (Sen. Ping Lacson, Oct. 18, 2020)
Mapapawi na ang takot ng ilang sektor at agam-agam ng mga awtoridad sa pagpapatupad ng Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 ngayong lumabas na ang Implementing Rules and Regulations nito.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson na pangunahing nagsulong at nag-sponsor ng naturang batas noong ito ay nasa Senado pa lamang, maliwanag sa 48-pahina ng IRR ng Anti-Terror Law na tumatalima ito sa Bill of Rights sa ilalim ng 1987 Constitution.
“As the principal sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in the Senate, I hope that the release of the law’s IRR will now enlighten our law enforcement officers as well as Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel, so they will be properly guided in performing their all-important mission of protecting our citizens from the indiscriminate and merciless acts of terrorism that can only be perpetrated by people with the ugliest and most senseless ideologies,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
“Given the critical role of Malampaya in the country’s energy and overall national development, it is imperative for Congress and the Filipino public to be apprised of the: (1) plans of government for SC 38 given its looming expiration and Malampaya’s declining output; and (2) compliance of government and the consortium with PD 87 and SC 38.” (co-author with Senators Sotto and Gatchalian)
“This bill seeks to authorize the President, during the time of national emergency, to suspend the requirements for national and local permits, licenses and certifications, and to streamline and expedite the process for the issuance of the same. While this may be a small step, it surely can create a significant impact on all enterprises. Likewise, this move could ease the already heavy burden of the businesses that were heavily hit and continuously being beaten by the gargantuan effects of the pandemic. This Act could be one of the needed breathers of the crumbling enterprises. And ultimately, this will redound to the benefit of our economy and encourage investors to capitalize in the country.” (co-author with Senators Sotto, Recto, Zubiri and Drilon)
“We must thus exert our utmost authority and vigilance to rid PhilHealth of undesirables and, punish to the fullest extent of the law, criminals… Less than this, we cannot allow.” – Senate Committee Report 107, by the Senate Committee of the Whole. Sen. Lacson is one of the sponsors of the Committee Report.
To avert a potential constitutional crisis and leadership vacuum, the process to pass a “Designated Survivor” measure guaranteeing the continuity and stability of operations in government should be started immediately, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.
Lacson said recent events involving “exceptional circumstances” such as terrorism illustrate the need to address soonest the limitations of the 1987 Constitution’s current provision on the line of succession.
“Because of the failure of Congress to pass the necessary legislation in extending the line of succession beyond the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a constitutional crisis is possible if all four top elected officials, God forbid, die in one event such as the SONA due to a terrorist attack in the Batasang Pambansa, or any occasion where the President and all three officials in the line of constitutional succession are present,” Lacson said.
“If such a tragedy occurs, who will act as President until the next election of the President and Vice President, since the constitutional line of succession to the President stops at the House Speaker?” he added.
“With all that said, I hope the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes and Laws will immediately conduct a hearing on Senate Bill No. 982, which I filed in August last year – or appoint me as subcommittee chairman, as I am willing and ready to sponsor and defend such an important piece of legislation on the Senate floor,” Lacson said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a certification which I read during last week’s hearing that B. Braun Avitum Dialysis Center Inc is not registered as a corporation. Unless they show their documents to the contrary and validated by SEC, I will have to stand by the government agency’s issued document.
Having said that, I also read into the records of the Committee of the Whole the SEC registration of B. Braun Medical Supplies Inc.
Nevertheless, nothing can justify the release of funds in the aggregate amount of at least P45 million to B. Braun Avitum Dialysis Center Inc. that has not catered to a single COVID-19 patient and with such record speed, compared to more deserving HCIs, especially government hospitals catering to COVID patients which up to now have not received any payment in relation to PhilHealth Circular 2020-0007, which is its specific intent and purpose.
“The passing away of a dedicated public servant, who had lived a full and meaningful life and who had never failed to look back at his humble beginnings, using the same as a constant guide and reminder that the poor and marginalized sector of society deserves no less than what they are entitled to under the Constitution and other existing laws consistent with the saying that those who have less in life must have more in law, is a great loss not only to the bereaved family but to the nation as well.” (co-author with Senators Sotto and Tolentino)
“These rampant and pervasive allegations of corruption, incompetence and inefficiency have systematically impaired the management of PhilHealth to the detriment of this public institution and its members, without any remedial measures to improve competency and exact accountability, thereby endangering PhilHealth’s existence, necessitating the Senate’s intervention to prevent the corporation’s financial collapse.”
Republic Act 11479, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, is An Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Penalize Terrorism, Thereby Repealing Republic Act 9372, Otherwise Known as the Human Security Act of 2007. It gives the Philippines a strong legal backbone against the threat of terrorism.
Tatlong maiiksi subali’t klarong pagsasalarawan ang naging tugon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, sponsor ng Anti-Terrorism Bill sa Senado, sa maling akala na naging dahilan ng pagkabahala ng Integrated Bar of the Philippines sa ilang nilalaman ng naturang panukala.
Ang Anti-Terrorism Bill ay mabilis, mabisa at naaayon sa Saligang Batas, maiksing tugon ni Lacson sa pahayag ng nabanggit na grupo ng mga abogado.
“The Anti-Terrorism Bill speaks clear of our swift, effective, and constitutional policy against these acts of terror and against no one else but its perpetrators,” ayon kay Lacson sa kanyang sulat kay IBP President Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Tuesday rectified the misconceptions of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines about the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, as he maintained the measure aims to combat terrorism in a “swift, effective and constitutional” manner.
In a letter-reply to IBP president Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa, Lacson addressed the IBP’s concerns about parts of the bill, including the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC).
“The Anti-Terrorism Bill speaks clear of our swift, effective, and constitutional policy against these acts of terror and against no one else but its perpetrators,” he said.
Dahil siyensiya at teknolohiya lamang ang tamang gabay para malutas ang mga problemang dulot ng pandemya gaya ng COVID-19, isinulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pagtatag ng isang institusyong tutuklas sa mga solusyon para sa sakit na ito.
Sa ilalim ng Senate Bill 1543, layon ni Lacson na itatag ang Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).
Ayon kay Lacson, kada araw ay patuloy sa pagtaas ang bilang ng mga nahahawaan ng COVID-19. Sa Pilipinas lamang ay hindi bababa sa 873 na ang kumpirmadong namatay. Dahil din dito, nagkaroon ng malawakang suliraning panlipunan at pang-ekonomiya ng bansa.
“These problems can only be addressed using science and technology, specifically through research and development (R&D). It is therefore imperative that we establish a Research Institute that delves into the study of viruses of the field of virology. The country needs diagnostics to detect and limit the spread of the existing viruses; vaccines to provide long-term protection; treatments to save lives in the shorter term, and social science to understand their behavioral and societal implications,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panukala.
Stressing the importance of science and technology in addressing the problems caused by novel viruses such as the coronavirus, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a bill establishing the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).
Lacson, in Senate Bill 1543, noted the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has infected more than five million and killed more than 340,000 worldwide, including 14,319 infected and 873 dead in the Philippines alone.
Worse, he said the health crisis from COVID-19 has resulted in widespread social and economic crises, “the impacts of which are devastating, especially to the poor.”
“These problems can only be addressed using science and technology, specifically through research and development (R&D). It is therefore imperative that we establish a Research Institute that delves into the study of viruses of the field of virology. The country needs diagnostics to detect and limit the spread of the existing viruses; vaccines to provide long-term protection; treatments to save lives in the shorter term, and social science to understand their behavioral and societal implications,” Lacson said in his bill.
Matatapos na ang pamamayagpag ng mga testigong nagbibigay ng mapanlinlang at pagsisinungaling na testimonya sa mga pagdinig para manira ng reputasyon at magpahamak ng ibang tao, matapos umusad na sa Senado ang panukalang nagbibigay ng pinabigat na parusa sa mga ito.
Sumalang na sa sponsorship sa plenaryo ang Senate Bill 1354 na natutungkol sa pagpapataw ng parusa sa mga nabanggit na klase ng testigo na ang pakay ay manira at manghiya sa publiko ng mga target nila.
Sinegundahan ni Senador Panfilo M. Lacson si Senador Richard Gordon sa pagsalang sa plenaryo ng panukala sa pamamagitan ng co-sponsorship, para matiyak na hindi na mangyayari sa iba ang masamang karanasan niya sa mga sumira sa kanyang pagkatao sa pamamagitan ng imbentong kuwento bilang testigo.
“It goes without saying that this measure will deter the commission of the crimes of false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation and uphold the sacredness of oath in testimonies and sworn statements by increasing the penalty for their commission. It is for these reasons that I fully support the passage of this measure,” banggit ng mambabatas sa kanyang co-sponsorship speech sa hybrid session ng Senado noong Miyerkules.
To finally put an end to the practice of fake news and false testimonies meant to destroy people’s reputations, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson batted for the swift passage of a Senate bill providing heavier penalties against perjury.
Lacson – himself a victim of such false testimonies in the past – noted that while he had filed such a measure as early as 2011, it was left languishing in the legislative mill.
“It goes without saying that this measure will deter the commission of the crimes of false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation and uphold the sacredness of oath in testimonies and sworn statements by increasing the penalty for their commission. It is for these reasons that I fully support the passage of this measure,” he said in his co-sponsorship speech for Senate Bill 1354, which he co-authored with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senators Richard Gordon and Leila de Lima, at the Senate hybrid session Wednesday.
Mr. President, fellow members of this august chamber, it is my honor to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 1354 entitled ‘An Act Amending Articles 183 and 184 of Act No. 3815, As Amended, Otherwise Known as the Revised Penal Code,’ as embodied under Committee Report No. 49.
Somebody once said: “He who tells a lie, is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one.” Nonetheless Mr. President, in my decades of experience as a public servant, I have come face to face with countless instances where a witness went the extra mile to invent hundreds of other lies just to maintain the first lie that he/she made under the sacred oath of truth.
I need not go far, Mr. President. I myself had been a victim of untruthful testimonies fabricated with the end goal of destroying my person. Never would I forget the unadorable persons answering the names of Ador Mawanay and Cezar Mancao, and a host of other characters who weaved unthinkable lies and narratives of the crimes that I supposedly committed.
The resolution calls for the “immediate resignation of Sec. Duque for his failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight and inefficiency in the performance of his mandate as DOH Secretary, resulting in poor planning, delayed response, lack of transparency and misguided and flip-flopping policies and measures in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic that endangered and continues to endanger the lives of our health care professionals, other frontliners, and the Filipino people.”
“Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, several elective officials are calling for a ‘full-blown’ and immediate implementation of the National ID System as this would not only aid in the efficient distribution of the social amelioration program currently being implemented by different government agencies, but would also help our law enforcement agencies in fighting crimes and facilitate key government services and transactions, among others.” (co-author with Senate President Sotto)
Republic Act 11469 gives the government the needed powers to address the COVID-19 emergency. Section 4 (j)of the law aims to “ensure that donation, acceptance and distribution of health products intended to address the COVID-19 public health emergency are not unnecessarily delayed and that health products for donation duly certified by the regulatory agency or their accredited third party from countries with established regulation shall automatically be cleared: Provided, this shall not apply to health products which do not require a certification or clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.”
The Senate filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Mandamus before the Supreme Court on March 9, 2020, seeking a ruling on the need for Senate concurrence in ending treaties such as the VFA. Sen. Ping Lacson, who was among the petitioners, said the petition will be strengthened by Senate Resolution 337. “We’re not filing this petition in our individual capacity as senators but we’re backed by the whole Senate because of SR 337.”
“The ambiguity on the concurrence of the Senate in the abrogation of treaty involves an issue of transcendental importance that impacts on the country’s constitutional checks and balances. It presents a constitutional issue that seriously affects the country’s legal system as well as the country’s relations with the international community.” (co-author with Senate President Sotto and Senators Drilon, Gordon, Zubiri)