Category: Hearings/Investigations

Pagtaas ng Sahod ng Govt Nurses, Posible Next Year: Interpellation of the DOH’s Budget for 2020

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During his interpellation of the 2020 budget of the Department of Health, Sen. Lacson proposed a solution to address the clamor of government nurses for their salary upgrade.

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‘Huli sa Facebook, May Iskolar Pa Si Cong!’: Interpellating the 2020 Budget of the CHED

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Tulong Dunong,’ the defunct scholarship program of individual legislators, is still alive and kicking – and the proof is on Facebook. Sen. Lacson bared this during his interpellation of the 2020 budget of the Commission on Higher Education.

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Sponsoring the 2020 Budget of the CHR

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Sen. Lacson sponsored the 2020 budget of the Commission on Human Rights amounting to P863.138 million. This included P830 million for the Human Rights proper and P32.8 million for the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission.

Lacson noted the CHR needs at least 152 lawyers nationwide as it has only three lawyers per region. He also corrected impressions the CHR was silent on the abuse of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA).

Meanwhile, Lacson sponsored as well the 2020 budgets of the Mindanao Development Authority, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, and Southern Philippines Development Authority.

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‘Mas Malaki Pa Rito ang Pork ni Cong’: Sponsoring the 2020 Budget of the DICT

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As he sponsored the proposed PhP7.72-billion budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Sen. Lacson pushed for additional funding for the agency in 2020, saying its initial budget was smaller than the pork barrel of a legislator.

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Sponsoring the 2020 Budgets of the DDB and PDEA

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Sen. Lacson sponsored the proposed PhP553.661-million budget of the Dangerous Drugs Board. The proposed 2020 budget of the DDB is lower than the 2019 budget due to, among other factors, the non-recurring funding for the nationwide survey on the extent of drug abuse in the Philippines.

Lacson also sponsored the PhP2.480-billion budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, higher than the current year’s budget.

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Sponsoring the 2020 Budget of the Department of National Defense

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Sen. Lacson sponsored the proposed PhP191,340,253,000 budget of the Department of National Defense for 2020. The amount is about 4% of the 2020 budget. The key security strategy for 2018 indicated a minimum of 2% of the budget for the DND.

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Joint Committee Hearing on the Proposal to Create a Department of Disaster Management

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Sen. Lacson’s Opening Statement at the Hearing:

The World Economic Forum conducted in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017 identified both natural and man-made disasters as among the top global risks that can cause significant negative impact for several countries and industries within the next 10 years. But long before this risk has been widely talked about in international fora, disasters have unfortunately become a frequent life experience in the Philippines, and our recent history attests to this untoward reality.

Just last Friday, Nov. 8, we commemorated the sixth anniversary when category-five Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) cut a swath of unprecedented destruction across 171 cities and municipalities in Central Philippines. In the same breath, we are one with our brothers and sisters in Mindanao as they continue to heal from the scars caused by the Zamboanga siege in 2013 and the Marawi crisis in 2017. In between, various parts of the country are being shaken, quite literally, by earthquakes and numerous aftershocks; most recent of which were the three strong quakes that hit the island of Mindanao in the past weeks, affecting 146,000 Filipinos, most of whom are still living in tents as we speak.

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‘Nagkalutuan?’: At the Hearing on ‘Ninja Cops’

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the hearing on corruption and the recycling of drugs, Sen. Lacson smelled a ‘lutong makaw’ in the case of 13 police officers tagged in a controversial anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013.

Lacson also questioned the seeming special treatment for P/Maj Rodney Baloyo IV, who was transferred to Tagaytay where he became OIC ‘by design.’

Earlier, Lacson moved to have SPO1 Ronald Santos cited in contempt, for his failure to attend previous Senate inquiries even after being subpoenaed. Santos was among those 13 police officers tagged for grave misconduct in a controversial anti-drug operation in November 2013.

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How to Stop Drug Recycling? Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings of PDEA, DDB

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Sen. Lacson chaired the resumption of the hearing on the 2020 budget of the PDEA and DDB, where the problem of recycling of seized illegal drugs was taken up. Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta and Court Administrator Midas Marquez attended the hearing, upon the Senate’s investigation.

Sen. Lacson cited the problem raised by the PDEA in the previous budget hearing. “Right now, what’s stocked in the warehouse of PDEA is P22B worth of different kinds of drugs. We don’t know because the problem exists as PDEA claims, they have to wait for a court order before they can finally destroy the drugs confiscated. We’d like to find out anong magandang gawin para di ma-recycle ang drugs on account of stocking.”

Related: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearings for PDEA and DDB
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‘Masyadong Mahalay’: At the Hearing on Corruption and Recycling of Drugs

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the hearing on corruption and the recycling of drugs, Sen. Lacson moved to have P/Maj Rodney Raymond Louie Baloyo IV, relieved head of Pampanga police intel branch, cited in contempt after catching several inconsistencies in his statements on an anti-drug operation in November 2013.

Earlier during the hearing, Lacson questioned why inmates at Bilibid are still being given only P39 worth of meals a day, when the 2019 budget increased their subsistence allowance to P70 a day. Lacson warned the realignment of the funds would be tantamount to technical malversation.

Lacson also scored the revelation by former BuCor OIC Rafael Ragos that the NBP director would get P1M a month from the subsistence allowance. He also questioned Atty. Fredric Santos why he notarized documents of bidders for catering services , when he is an NBP insider and a member of the Bids and Awards Committee.

Related: ‘Do Not Test Our Patience’: At the Hearing on ‘Ninja Cops’
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