Category: Hearings/Investigations

‘Body Cams vs Drug Recycling’: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings for PDEA and DDB

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At the hearings for the budgets of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Dangerous Drugs Board for 2020, Sen. Lacson stressed the need for preemptive action against the recycling of seized illegal drugs, after learning the extent of the problem. “We have to find a resolution to this festering issue. Social menace ito, di lang law enforcement problem. If we have P22 billion worth of drugs seized, P20 billion of which is shabu and as far back as 9 years ago we really have a serious problem.”

In an interview with media after the hearing, Sen. Lacson also cited other preventive measures such as joint operations, and closer coordination with the judiciary in destroying illegal drugs seized as evidence.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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‘TALAMAK ANG KORAPSYON!’ 7 Major Moneymaking Schemes at Bilibid Bared

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At the fifth Senate hearing on the irregularities at the Bureau of Corrections, Sen. Lacson bared at least seven moneymaking schemes inside the New Bilibid Prison, both petty and large-scale. “Maraming issues. Pagpasok ng contraband. May ‘special request.’ Pagpasok ng ’tilapia.’ Pagpasok ng extended period ng visitation, may bayad.”

While BuCor legal division chief Anthony Frederic Santos confirmed there was corruption in the NBP, with the payoffs depending on the inmate’s ‘level,’ Lacson pointed out the committee also invited former BuCor OIC Rafael Ragos and NBI intelligence agent Jovencio Ablen Jr to give the Senate panel a clearer picture of corruption at BuCor. “The moneymaking scheme has been there since time immemorial,” Sen. Lacson said. “(This Senate investigation is) with the end in view to resolve these issues and come up with legislation to (stop) these malpractices,” he added.

Lacson also asked BuCor OIC Melvin Ramon Buenafe if the situation in BuCor is still reversible, since some inmates have “good command and control over their fellow inmates, even BuCor employees.” He said “surgical action” is needed especially to stop practices like letting inmates out overnight to commit crimes, and get back in.

Related:
At the Hearing on the Release of Heinous Crime Convicts via GCTA (Sept. 2)
#PingSays: Sec. Panelo’s ‘Referral’ for ex-Mayor Sanchez; Sanchez Release and GCTA Issue (Sept. 3)
‘Bakit Kailangan Madaliin?’ BuCor Execs Grilled over Hurry to Release ‘Special’ Convicts (Sept. 5)
Facebooking from Maximum Security: Mobile Phones, Drugs and Firearms in Bilibid (Sept. 9)
QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “‘TALAMAK ANG KORAPSYON!’ 7 Major Moneymaking Schemes at Bilibid Bared”

Facebooking from Maximum Security: Mobile Phones, Drugs and Firearms in Bilibid

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the Senate hearing on the release of heinous crime convicts via GCTA, Sen. Lacson bared how prohibited items from mobile phones to illegal drugs to firearms are being used inside the maximum security area in the New Bilibid Prison. “Is this the kind of strictness in the policy of containing the entry or preventing the entry of contraband, especially mobile phones? There are other prisoners who openly post on Facebook. Ang iba high-profile cases.

Lacson also questioned the inconsistencies in the statements of at least one BuCor official during the hearing.

Related:
At the Hearing on the Release of Heinous Crime Convicts via GCTA (Sept. 2)
#PingSays: Sec. Panelo’s ‘Referral’ for ex-Mayor Sanchez; Sanchez Release and GCTA Issue (Sept. 3)
‘Bakit Kailangan Madaliin?’ BuCor Execs Grilled over Hurry to Release ‘Special’ Convicts (Sept. 5)
‘TALAMAK ANG KORAPSYON!’ 7 Major Moneymaking Schemes at Bilibid Bared (Sept. 12)
QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “Facebooking from Maximum Security: Mobile Phones, Drugs and Firearms in Bilibid”

Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings for the CHR and PLLO

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Sen. Lacson chaired the hearings for the budgets of the Commission on Human Rights and the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office for 2020. He heads the Senate finance subcommittee tackling the budgets of the two agencies.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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‘Hindi Maganda Tingnan’: More Signs of Conflict of Interest, Irregularities at the Senate Hearing on DOH, PhilHealth Row

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the hearing on irregularities at the DOH and PhilHealth, Sen. Lacson presented contracts entered into by a firm owned by the family of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III with the NCMH , as well as a contract between PhilHealth’s Region 1 office and another Duque family-owned firm , during the secretary’s incumbency.

Lacson also cited information on other irregularities such as overcharging by PhilHealth, as well as the rediscounting of claims, which is rampant in Eastern Visayas.

Yet, Lacson noted PhilHealth is one of the top GOCCs in terms of subsidies from the government. “Pinakamalaking subsidized ng gobyerno and PhilHealth. And here we are, hearing so many anomalies, monies going to the pockets of a few. Hindi ba nakakagalit yan?

Related: ‘Namatay Na, Naningil Pa!’ Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing on DOH, PhilHealth Corruption
QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “‘Hindi Maganda Tingnan’: More Signs of Conflict of Interest, Irregularities at the Senate Hearing on DOH, PhilHealth Row”

‘Bakit Kailangan Madaliin?’ BuCor Execs Grilled over Hurry to Release ‘Special’ Convicts

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At the Senate hearing on the release of heinous crime convicts via GCTA, Sen. Lacson stressed the need for closer coordination between the Board of Pardons and Parole and the Bureau of Corrections . He also welcomed the disclosure of DOJ Sec. Menardo Guevarra that an initial batch of heinous crime convicts who were released via GCTA had surrendered, after President Duterte gave them 15 days to turn themselves in.

Lacson also questioned the rush that prompted BuCor official Maria Fe Marquez to sign release papers for three convicts in the Chiong sisters’ 1997 rape-slay, for now-fired BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon; as well as the blatant disregard of the procedure requiring the prior approval of the DOJ Secretary for convicts’ release.

At the resumption of the hearing, a resource person surfaced to give details of a supposed GCTA-for-sale racket supposedly involving BuCor personnel.

Related:
At the Hearing on the Release of Heinous Crime Convicts via GCTA (Sept. 2)
#PingSays: Sec. Panelo’s ‘Referral’ for ex-Mayor Sanchez; Sanchez Release and GCTA Issue (Sept. 3)
Facebooking from Maximum Security: Mobile Phones, Drugs and Firearms in Bilibid (Sept. 9)
‘TALAMAK ANG KORAPSYON!’ 7 Major Moneymaking Schemes at Bilibid Bared (Sept. 12)
QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “‘Bakit Kailangan Madaliin?’ BuCor Execs Grilled over Hurry to Release ‘Special’ Convicts”

At the Hearing on the Release of Heinous Crime Convicts via GCTA

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At the Senate hearing on the release of heinous crime convicts via GCTA, Sen. Lacson showed documents indicating BuCor director general Nicanor Faeldon signed the release order for former Calauan (Laguna) Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for the rape-killing of Eileen Sarmenta and killing of Allan Gomez in 1993 .

Lacson also said the signing of release orders for convicts in the rape-killing of the Chiong sisters in Cebu in 1997 by Maria Fe Marquez for Faeldon was a violation of the law.

He questioned as well the release of convicted Taiwanese drug lord Chen Chang from the Davao Penal Colony last April 3.

Related:
#PingSays: Sec. Panelo’s ‘Referral’ for ex-Mayor Sanchez; Sanchez Release and GCTA Issue (Sept. 3)
‘Bakit Kailangan Madaliin?’ BuCor Execs Grilled over Hurry to Release ‘Special’ Convicts (Sept. 5)
Facebooking from Maximum Security: Mobile Phones, Drugs and Firearms in Bilibid (Sept. 9)
‘TALAMAK ANG KORAPSYON!’ 7 Major Moneymaking Schemes at Bilibid Bared (Sept. 12)
QUOTES and NOTES: 

Continue reading “At the Hearing on the Release of Heinous Crime Convicts via GCTA”

At the Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

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At the hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,  Sen. Lacson urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to ensure humane treatment for Filipino workers and their children who are to be deported from Israel. “I have a piece of advice: Kindly remind them of (former President) Manuel Luis Quezon during the Holocaust and maybe they will be more humane in treating our Filipino children there.”

Sen. Lacson also sought more Transfer of Sentenced Persons Treaties, like the one the Philippines has with Spain. Such a treaty allows Filipinos serving jail time abroad to serve their sentences here in the Philippines. “Maybe in coordination with (the countries/territories concerned), we can pursue that path.”

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‘Namatay Na, Naningil Pa!’ Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing on DOH, PhilHealth Corruption

At the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Sen. Lacson questioned irregularities at the DOH and PhilHealth, including:
* conflict of interest
* toll manufacturing agreements entered into by Duque family-owned Doctors Pharmaceuticals Inc. and firms not accredited to deal with the DOH
* under-support payments
* collections for dead patients

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Quotes from the hearing:
Continue reading “‘Namatay Na, Naningil Pa!’ Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing on DOH, PhilHealth Corruption”

At the Hearing of the Senate National Defense Committee: Anti-Terrorism Bill

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“We need a strong anti-terrorism law.”

At the hearing of the Senate Committee on National Defense, Sen. Lacson stressed the need to pass a stronger anti-terrorism law soonest, citing signs of radicalism and extremism making their way to Philippine shores.

Lacson also strongly suggested that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), headed by former Sen. Gringo Honasan, play a more active role against terrorism as it deals with telcos and ISPs.

Several aspects of the proposed anti-terrorism measure were tackled, including the removal of predicate crimes, making terrorism a continuing crime, and extending the reglamentary period in the detention of suspected terrorists to 14 days, extendible further to another 15 days. [Video Courtesy News5]

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